The Ministry of National Defence plans joining the the CAESAR 6×6 Mark II new generation (NG) system development program of the General Directorate for Armament of France, as well as procurement of 18 pieces of the new generation self-propelled wheeled 155mm howitzers to further strengthen the Lithuanian Armed Forces. Lithuania joined the Caesar Mk II program with an order for 18 units, with deliveries expected in 2026. The corresponding Declaration of Intent was signed by Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas and Minister for the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu in Paris on June 13.
“The acquisition of the French Caesar Mark II new generation artillery systems will be the largest project the Lithuanian Armed Forces has ever had with France. It will significantly increase defensive capabilities of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The war against Ukraine has made it obvious that indirect fire capability is essential and therefore it is vital for us to provide it for the Lithuanian Armed Forces. We cannot afford to wait until the next war,” Minister of National Defence Arvydas Anušauskas said.
The new artillery systems will be dedicated to Brig Gen Motiejus Pe?iulionis Artillery Battalion. The equipment will replace the 105 mm towed howitzers in service with the Griffin Brigade which are obsolete in terms of mobility and firepower requirements in modern warfare. The Ministry of National Defence foresees appropriation of approx. EUR 110–150 million for the entire Caesar Mark II procurement project. The Caesar Mark II development programme is expected to be signed before July 30, there is a parallel contract drafted with the French ammunition and weaponry systems manufacturer NEXTER as well.
The CAESAR (CAmion Équipé d’un Système d’ARtillerie) is a French self-propelled 155 mm/52-calibre gun-howitzer firing NATO-standard artillery shells up to 42 km (26 mi) when Extended Range, Full Bore (ERFB) or over 50 km (31 mi) when rocket assisted, installed on a 6×6 or 8×8 truck chassis. the CAESAR 6×6 Mark II features a new chassis with a more powerful 460 hp engine and new automatic gearbox, new fire control software, and a Level 2 mine and ballistic armored cabin. The CAESAR was developed by Nexter and is operated by the Danish, French, Indonesian, Lebanese, Saudi Arabian, Thai, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Morocco and Ukrainian military forces.