Artillery Arrives in Afghanistan To Aid French

Caesar 155mm 52-caliber gun

Caesar 155mm 52-caliber gun

Paris – A first batch of three Caesar 155mm cannons arrived at Kabul airport Aug. 1, marking a first operational deployment of the truck-mounted artillery, according to the Web site of the French chief of the Defense Staff.

“These artillery pieces are intended to deliver fire support from forward operating bases during operations undertaken by the joint tactical battalion at Kapisa and the French battalion at Surobi,” the Web site posting said.

The guns are part of the French Army’s drive to boost firepower in the Afghan theater, as the insurgency has intensified and claimed more lives.

Caesar 155mm 52-caliber gun being loaded

Caesar 155mm 52-caliber gun being loaded

A video clip on the Web site showed the Caesar cannons being driven down the ramp of an Antonov 124 transporter and out of the airport to Camp Warehouse, the main NATO base in the capital, where they will be dispatched into the field after a few days. The video was produced by the ECPAD, the Defense Ministry’s audiovisual production arm.

The guns are operated by the 3rd marine artillery regiment, based in Canjuers, southern France. A total eight Caesar 155mm 52-caliber guns, built by Nexter Systems, will be deployed in Afghanistan, boosting the firepower of the French Army, which up to now has had 120mm mortars as its heaviest pieces.

Caesar 155mm

Caesar 155mm

On Aug. 1, a French soldier died in an insurgent ambush, bringing the total of French Army fatalities to 29 since deployment in 2001 as part of the NATO-led multinational operation.

Three French Army Tiger attack helicopters arrived in Kabul July 26, also flown in by Antonov, as part the effort to support ground troops.

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