The Finnish Navy launches a call for tenders for the French Caesar

One might have thought that coastal artillery had fallen into disuse with the arrival of anti-ship missile batteries. However, the Finnish Navy still uses, to this day, around fifteen 130 53 TK 130 mm casemate batteries. Entered into service in 1984, each of them covers 60 to 80 km of coastline in the Baltic Sea, using its 130 mm gun capable of firing summed thrust shells up to 40 km.

Although heavily hardened, these coastal batteries suffer today from the arrival of precision weapons and drones, making them ready targets for preventive strikes.

This is the reason why the Finnish Navy launched a call for tenders, this time favoring mobility, but also precision, and the acquisition cost, to replace its fixed guns, specifications perfectly tailored to the French Caesar.

Finland, one of the most massive armed forces in Europe.

Along with Greece, Finland was one of the very few European countries to maintain active conscription after the Cold War. In doing so, the country of only 5,5 m inhabitants, which shares a 1340 km border with Russia, today has, paradoxically, one of the most imposing mobilizable armed forces on the old continent.

F-35A F/A-18 Finland
Finland has ordered 64 F-35As to replace its F/A-18 Hornets, making it Europe's largest planned Lighning II fleet to date.

The Finnish armed forces have, in fact, around 30 active personnel, two thirds of whom are trained by conscripts, but also, permanently, 000 reservists carrying out their periods of “refreshing” their skills. In time of war, this number increases to 20, including 000 for the land forces, 250 for the air forces, and 000 for the Navy, which is as much as the French armies, for a country 180 times less populated.

Although it joined NATO a little over a year ago, Helsinki, no more than its Swedish neighbor, does not intend to rely on the alliance to ensure the defense of its territory. .

The Finnish authorities have, in recent years, announced a major budgetary effort to modernize its armies, with, for example, the acquisition of 64 F-35As, the largest fleet ordered to date by a European country, concerning the American aircraft, but also 96 South Korean K-9 Thunder self-propelled guns, 130 additional Finnish Patria 6x6 APCs, as well as eight Norwegian NASAMS batteries and an undetermined number of Israeli David Sling batteries.

Like its Scandinavian neighbors, Finland is ready to make the necessary financial efforts, with 2,4% of GDP or €6,4 billion in 2024, to modernize its forces, while the country is, like the Baltics, on the front line against Russia, with which it shares the largest European border, apart from Ukraine.

And it could increase further. Indeed, according to Timo Kivinen, Chief of Staff of the Finnish Armed Forces, the 2% threshold set by NATO, is not sufficient to effectively deter Russia today.

The Finnish Navy wants to renew its coastal batteries

Among the current priorities of the Finnish general staff is replacement of coastal batteries under casemate 130 53 TK, which are deployed along the 1100 km of Finnish linear coastline.

Finnish Navy coastal battery 130 53 TK
The Finnish coasts are protected by 15 130 mm 130 53 TK coastal batteries, which entered service in the mid-80s.

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Updated 19/06/24: The favorite Caesar MkII in Finland

A month after the publication of this article on June 10, 2024, internal sources indicated that the Caesar MkII was indeed evaluated by the Finnish Navy, and that it would, moreover, be the option favored by the general staff.

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  1. Inertial + laser guidance seems to be the winning combo for artillery (not just coastal), where the GNSS signal is too easily jammed to provide effective guidance.

    Whereas with the proliferation of disposable drones equipped with laser designators the battlefield will be transformed into a real Christmas tree where everything that moves is instantly illuminated.

    With the M712 Copperhead guided by the MQM-105 Aquila, the Americans already had the right intuition in the 70s.


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