The Danish government has decided to donate all of the 19 Caesar self-propelled howitzers it is buying from France to Ukraine.
The defense ministry did not provide a timeline on the delivery of the systems to Ukraine but it is worth noting that the Danish Army itself is yet to receive all of the 19 systems it ordered from arms maker Nexter in 2017 and 2019.
“This is a very large and significant donation,” defense minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen said.
“We have been in continuous contact with the Ukrainians about Caesar artillery in particular and I am happy that we have now received broad support from the Danish Parliament to donate it to Ukraine’s struggle for freedom. There is no doubt that it is needed, even if there are still technical issues with the system.”
The donation will cause a delay in the establishment of Denmark’s 1st brigade. Therefore, the government is now looking at the possibilities of launching a rapid acquisition of new capacities in parallel with the donation.
Denmark noted that there are still a number of technical challenges with the system, which will have to be handled in cooperation with Nexter and Ukraine. Ukraine requested the artillery despite these challenges, the defense ministry said.
The donation will be accompanied by a training and education package for Ukrainian operators.
It is worth noting that Denmark made the decision after first reports emerged in October last year that France was negotiating to divert some the howitzers ordered by Denmark to Ukraine. France has already taken 18 Caesars out of its army’s stocks and sent them to Ukraine.
The howitzers that Denmark will send can store 36 155mm shells and fire rounds at a rate of 6 per minute to ranges of over 40 and over 50 kilometers.
Caesar is one of several Western-built self-propelled howitzers that has reached the Ukrainian Army units since the start of Russia’s invasion in February this year. These include M109 howitzers from the United States, PzH2000 from Germany and the Netherlands, Krab howitzers from Poland, Zuzana 2 from Slovakia, and a range of towed howitzers.