Ground WarfareMilitary Videos

KNDS Awarded Contract to Deliver 109 CAESAR MkII Self-propelled Howitzers to French Army

90
×

KNDS Awarded Contract to Deliver 109 CAESAR MkII Self-propelled Howitzers to French Army

Share this article
KNDS Awarded Contract to Deliver 109 CAESAR MkII Self-propelled Howitzers to French Army
KNDS Awarded Contract to Deliver 109 CAESAR MkII Self-propelled Howitzers to French Army

The French Ministry of Defence’s Directorate General of Armament Agency (DGA) has awarded Nexter, company of KNDS, a contract for 109 CAESAR MkII self-propelled howitzer. The first delivery is scheduled for 2026. More mobile, better protected, and integrated into the SCORPION combat information system, the CAESAR MkII has been under development since December 2021. The DGA announced the order for 109 CAESAR 6×6 MkII, a new version currently under development. Thanks to this order planned in the 2024-2030 defence programming law, the CAESAR 6×6 MkII will first replace the AUF1 self-propelled howitzer at the end of its operational service and gradually phase out the CAESAR 6×6 MkI of the French Army. This order also includes support for the CAESAR MkII during their first two years of use. The development of the CAESAR MkII was launched in December 2021, as announced by the French Prime Minister Jean Castex in Roanne.

The CAESAR (Camion Équipé d’un Système d’Artillerie) is a French 155 mm, 52-caliber self-propelled howitzer that can fire 39/52 caliber NATO-standard shells. Equipped with an autonomous weapon network incorporating an inertial navigation system and ballistic computer, the CAESAR can accurately strike targets more than 40 kilometres (25 mi) away using “Extended Range, Full Bore” (ERFB) ammunition with base bleed, or targets over 55 kilometres (34 mi) away using rocket-assisted or smart ammunition. The French artillery will thus have an unprecedented capability since the introduction of the CAESAR 6×6 system in 2008. It is installed on a 6×6 or 8×8 truck chassis. Units manufactured for the French Army use a 6×6 Renault Sherpa 5 chassis. It can be transported by a C-130 or an A400M aircraft.

French Army CAESAR MkII Self-propelled Howitzer. (Photo by KDNS)
French Army CAESAR MkII Self-propelled Howitzer. (Photo by KDNS)

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). The contract begins a four-year development phase, after which the Mark II will enter production. In 2024, the DGA will choose whether to start production of 109 newly built Mark IIs or to procure 33 new vehicles while retrofitting the 76 CAESARs already in service.

The main improvements of the CAESAR MkII relate to protection mobility, and communication capabilities:
The cabin’s protection is enhanced against mines and ballistic projectiles to resist improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and small-caliber ammunition. This requirement was defined during France’s recent operations in Afghanistan and the Sahel region.
The mobility of the CAESAR MkII is improved with a new engine (460 HP compared to the previous 215 HP), a new automatic gearbox, and a new chassis provided by Arquus.
The CAESAR MkII is equipped with state-of-the-art fire control software, and its cabin is prepared to integrate the future generation of NCT-t radio stations.

French Army CAESAR MkII Self-propelled Howitzer. (Photo by KDNS)
French Army CAESAR MkII Self-propelled Howitzer. (Photo by KDNS)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *