The integrated structure for maintaining land equipment in operational condition (SIMMT) awarded Nexter a second in-service support (ISS) contract for the CAESAR self-propelled howitzer. The terms of the new support contract take into account these years of feedback; thus, the annual maintenance packages are more flexible and responsive to adapt to the foreseeable use of the CAESAR, both in peacetime and when it is deployed on operations. This contract follows on from the initial contract, which for the past seven years has provided full support for the army’s 77 CAESAR artillery systems. During this period, the CAESAR has been deployed in many theaters of operation (Afghanistan, Sahel-Saharan strip, Lebanon, Iraq) and sometimes under heavy demand.
The technical control, on behalf of the French defense procurement agency (DGA), enables to monitor the evolution of the system, analyze technical facts, deal with obsolescence and thus consider improvements to the CAESAR definition. It should be noted that these operations are carried out in conjunction with the teams of the land-based industrial maintenance department (SMITer), which in particular carry out deep vehicle repairs.With this contract, for a renewed period of 7 years and 4 months, Nexter will ensure the maintenance in operational condition (MOC) of the CAESAR, which includes the management and delivery of spare parts, documentation, technical expertise, technical assistance to regiments, tool maintenance and support for the CAESARs used in the Canjuers and Mourmelon training grounds.
The CAESAR 6×6 self-propelled howitzer is a Nexter product in service in French artillery regiments since 2008. The French army has used the CAESAR gun during most of its recent overseas operations where it has served in real engagement conditions and has given full satisfaction to its users. Nexter produces and designs both CAESAR guns and ammunition. A wide range of conventional (LU 211 family) and smart (BONUS and KATANA) ammunition is available. Finally, the CAESAR is available in an eight-wheel drive version for improved mobility, increased carrying capacity and enhanced protection. Nexter integrates innovative systems capable of increasing the CAESAR’s capabilities: observation drones, handling robots and artillery C2s.
Nexter is the prime contractor for the CAESAR MOC, but also for the army’s main combat platforms: the VBCI, the Leclerc tank and the AMX 10 RC. ISS contracts for each of these systems guarantee the performance of the supply chain and the availability of the fleets. Lilian Braylé, Director of Customer Services, believes that “the renewal of the ISS CAESAR demonstrates the quality of the services offered by Nexter for more than 10 years and the relationship of trust built up with the French ministry of the Armed Forces”. For example, this close collaboration is evident in the remote workshops set up in the training fleets in France (Provence, Champagne), where Nexter deploys teams to perform all or part of the maintenance of the vehicles used to train the units.