On July 13th , Nexter was notified by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces through the Directorate General of Armaments (Direction Générale de l’Armement, DGA) of the order for new CAESAR® artillery systems. The systems will be delivered to the French Army by summer 2024 at the latest. Nexter, together with the DGA, have demonstrated great responsiveness in setting up the production launch of 18 CAESAR® systems within a few weeks . This accelerated procedure is in line with a wartime economy. In order to allow a rapid availability while awaiting the entry into service of the CAESAR® MkII which will progressively equip the army’s artillery regiments from 2026 onwards, the Ministry of the Armed Forces has chosen the CAESAR® MkI.
The CAESAR® MkI is the first version of this 155mm artillery system mounted on a 6×6 Renault Sherpa 5 truck chassis. The CAESAR® is characterised by a fast battery start up (less than one minute), a rate of fire of 6 rounds/minute and a very fast resupply (18 rounds/minute). Its 155mm/52 calibre gun is the only one in the world to be “long range proven ” in conditions close to high intensity combat. Equipped with an autonomous weapon network incorporating an inertial navigation system and ballistic computer, the CAESAR can notably accurately strike targets more than 40 kilometres (25 mi) away using ERFB (Extended Range, Full Bore) ammunition with base bleed, or targets over 55 kilometres (34 mi) away using rocket assisted or smart ammunition.
Being the lightest in its class (18t), it has a very low logistical weight and demonstrates unmatched tactical, operational and strategic mobility. It holds 18 rounds and is typically operated by a crew of five, though if necessary the CAESAR can be operated by a crew as few as three.Excluding its crew and ready ammunition supply, Caesar can be carried in a single load of a C-130 Hercules transporter. It is also transportable by A-400, IL76, and C-17 aircraft.The French Army’s Caesar is integrated with the Thales Land and Joint Systems Atlas artillery C4I (command, control, communications, and intelligence) system. The system provides onboard terminals for communications and real-time firing sequence management.
The CAESAR platform has been exported to various countries including Belgium, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. The Danish armed forces’ Caesar 8×8 howitzers are mounted on the four-axle Tatra Force truck chassis. The system in its basic configuration uses the entire drivetrain made by Tatra Trucks. In February 2022, Nexter was awarded a contract by the French Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) for the development of the CAESAR 6×6 Mark II new generation (NG) artillery system. The 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 raising the vehicle’s weight to 25 tonnes (27.56 tons).