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Who Would've Thought of Comparing French and Indian Howitzers But Armenia Gives a Reason To

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Indian-made MArG 155 wheeled self-propelled artillery gun previously ordered by Armenia / Open-source illustrative photo
Indian-made MArG 155 wheeled self-propelled artillery gun previously ordered by Armenia / Open-source illustrative photo

Based on an interesting arms deal concluded on the sidelines of the exhibition in Paris

During the Eurosatory 2024 defense exhibition, Armenia and France signed a contract for the supply of CAESAR wheeled self-propelled artillery systems. The terms of this contract are not disclosed but the fact itself is significant that once pro-russian Armenia orders more and more weapons from France. Paris, in turn, is also interested in the further expansion of its defense industry on the world arms market.

The deal looks even more interesting in context: half a year before, Armenia ordered wheeled 155mm self-propelled guns from India, and now the French weapon of the same class will join them within the Armenian military.

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In November 2023, Indian defense company Bharat Forge Kalyani Group confirmed a large contract signed with Yerevan for the supply of an unspecified number of 155mm towed ATAGS howitzers and wheeled 155mm MArG 155 self-propelled guns, which was rumored back in October 2022.

Indian-made MArG 155 wheeled self-propelled artillery gun previously ordered by Armenia / Defense Express / Who Would've Thought of Comparing French and Indian Howitzers But Armenia Gives a Reason To
Indian-made MArG 155 wheeled self-propelled artillery gun previously ordered by Armenia / Open-source illustrative photo

There's no public information about the current status of these supplies. Nonetheless, there is data on the MArG 155 SPG specifications: combat weight is 18 tons, attack range is 24 km, barrel length is 39 calibers, ammunition stock is 18 rounds.

Meanwhile, the newly contacted CAESARs boast overall better performance: with roughly the same weight of 18 tons and ammo capacity of 18 shots, the longer 52 caliber gun provides a range of fire up to 40km with conventional or 55 km with rocket-assisted ammunition, not to mention the high level of automation and digitalization that reduces the time needed to aim at target and emplace/displace the system on the firing position.

Still, sheer performance data aside, Defense Express assumes that high specs are not the only reason for Armenia to go for a different type of artillery systems in addition to the ones they already have ordered. Side factors like production tempo and ease of maintenance of CAESARs under different conditions could also play a major role.

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