In Tarbes (Hautes-Pyrenees), a company produces ammunition necessary for the operation of CAESAE cannons. The ammunition factory is experiencing real growth. Reportage.
The CAESAE is a key piece of French artillery, capable of firing six shots per minute. 18 CAESAE cannons were delivered to Ukraine. This formidable weapon can project shells up to 42 kilometers away. Its very specific munitions are made in the heart of the Pyrenees, in Tarbes (Hautes-Pyrenees). To make these 255 mm diameter weapons, steel is compressed and hollowed out, then heated to over 1,000 degrees. The 40,000 shells produced each year are inspected in detail using laser beams. Indeed, even the smallest crack can be fatal.
15 million euros are going to be invested in the Tarbes forge, with 50% of that coming from the state. Has the war on Europe’s doorstep pushed France to rearm? “We have two things that are now being carried out by the Ministry of Arms. On the one hand, we are restoring our stocks, […] and on the other hand maintaining the war effort that we are making on behalf of NATO,” says Jérôme Garnache-Creuillot, CEO of Europlasma. By 2025, this company’s production should triple, reaching 160,000 shells per year.