Nexter Caesar 8x8 Self-Propelled Howitzers
Nexter Caesar 8x8 Self-Propelled Howitzers

Czech Army Buying 52 Caesar Self-propelled Howitzer from French Company Nexter

The Czech government gave its approval on September 13 for the procurement of 52 Caesar self-propelled howitzers for the Czech Army from French company Nexter. The Caesar 8×8 155mm self-propelled howitzer systems will be replacing the Dana 152mm self-propelled howitzer which been in use with the Czech Armed Forces for over four decades and are approaching the end of their service life. Caesars will mainly equip the Czech Army’s 13th Artillery Regiment, respectively its 131st and 132nd Artillery Division, which currently have 48 pieces of Dana howitzers.

The CAESAR (CAmion Équipé d’un Système d’ARtillerie; French: Truck equipped with an artillery system) is a French self-propelled 155 mm/52-calibre gun-howitzer, installed on a 6×6/8×8 truck chassis. Examples built for the French Army use a Renault Sherpa 10 chassis, examples built for export utilize the 6×6 Unimog U2450L chassis. The CAESAR platform was developed by the former GIAT Industries (now known as Nexter) and is operated by the French, Indonesian, Saudi Arabian and Thai militaries. The Caesar 8×8 is an upgraded version of the 6×6 Caesar wheeled self-propelled howitzer using 155/52 caliber cannon.

Nexter Caesar 8x8 Self-Propelled Howitzers
Nexter Caesar 8×8 Self-Propelled Howitzers

The Czech Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced on June 4, 2020 that Czech Army is planning to replace its old Dana 152 mm 8×8 wheeled self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) that do not meet current NATO requirements with the French-made CAESAR 155 mm self-propelled artillery systems. The new self-propelled howitzerss will be assigned to a heavy armored brigade that will have been established by 2026. The artillery system will employ a Tatra T-815 8×8 carrier and the final assembly of the guns would be conducted in the Czech Republic. The Czech MoD is planning to allocate CZK5.95 billion (EUR245 million) for the procurement of the abovementioned artillery systems.

The main armament of the Nexter Caesar 8×8 consists of one 155mm/52 cal gun which is similar to the cannon mounted on the 6×6 Caesar. The Caesar 8×8 as a maximum rate of fire of 6 rounds/min. It can carry a total of 30 155mm projectiles and charges, the 155mm cannon has a powered elevation of maximum +72° and traverse 30° left/right and a large hydraulically operated spade is lowered at the rear to provide a more stable firing platform. The CAESAR 8×8 has a brand new fully automated ammunition loading system. It is operated by a crew of 2-3 men. It can be also fitted with a semi-automatic loading system for charges and shells. The Caesar 8×8 has a firing range from 4.5 to 40 km with standard ammunition and 55Km using VLAP (Very Long range Artillery Projectile) rounds.

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