Lithuania signed a letter of intent to acquire 18 French Caesar self-propelled guns during a meeting between the two countries’ defense ministers on Monday on the sidelines of the Eurosatory defense fair, the two countries announced. .

“Lithuania will buy 18 Caesar Mark II howitzer guns,” Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas announced in a tweet along with a photo of the letter of intent signing with his French counterpart, Sébastien Lecornu. “They will significantly strengthen the capabilities of the Lithuanian army,” he adds, adding that this is the “largest acquisition project” ever with France.

This decision comes as the Baltic country, a member of the EU and NATO, has decided to increase by 300 million euros, bringing it to 1.5 billion, its defense budget for 2022 in the light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the fears it raises for its own security.

According to the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, “the ties that unite Lithuania and France in terms of defense are very solid and will be further developed in the weeks to come, in the degraded geopolitical context that we are experiencing in Europe”.

A system already sold to 300 copies

The conflict in Ukraine recalls the role of artillery in high-intensity conflicts, with the West, primarily the United States, supplying dozens of guns to Ukrainian forces to contain Russian thrusts. In this context, France delivered, at the end of April, six Caesar guns to kyiv, as well as thousands of shells.

Produced by Nexter, the Caesar is a truck-mounted 155mm cannon capable of firing six rounds per minute at a range of 40 kilometers.

France has 76 copies. The system has also been sold nearly 300 copies to seven countries (Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Indonesia, Thailand, Czech Republic, Morocco and Belgium).