CAESAR self-propelled howitzer

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CAESAR
French Caesar self-propelled howitzer in Iraq.jpg
French artillerymen firing into the Middle Euphrates River Valley (Syria) from within Iraq (December 2018)
TypeSelf-propelled howitzer
Place of originFrance
Service history
In service2008–present
WarsWar in Afghanistan (2001–2021)
Cambodian–Thai border stand-off
Operation Serval
Operation Chammal
Battle of Mosul (2016–17)
Battle of Baghuz
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Production history
Designed1992–1999
ManufacturerGIAT Industries (now Nexter Systems)
Produced2004–present
Specifications
Mass17.7 tonnes (6×6)
28.7-30.2 tonnes (8×8)[1]
Length10 m (32 ft 10 in)
12.3 m (40 ft 4 in) (8x8)[1]
Width2.55 m (8 ft 4 in)
2.8 m (9 ft 2 in) (8x8)[1]
Height3.7 m (12 ft 2 in)
3.1 m (10 ft 2 in) (8x8)[1]
Crew5-6 (3, emergency)

Main
armament
155 mm/52-calibre
Secondary
armament
None
EngineDiesel
Suspension6x6 wheel
Operational
range
600 km (370 mi)
Maximum speed On-road: 100 km/h (62 mph)
Off-road: 50 km/h (31 mph)

The CAmion Équipé d'un Système d'ARtillerie (English: Truck equipped with an artillery system) or CAESAR[2] is a French 155 mm, 52-calibre self-propelled howitzer installed on a 6x6 or 8x8 truck chassis that can fire all 39/52 caliber NATO-standard shells. 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,[3] or targets over 55 kilometres (34 mi) away using rocket assisted or smart ammunition.

Units manufactured for the French Army use a 6x6 Renault Sherpa 5 chassis,[4] while exported versions have been integrated on the 6x6 Unimog U2450L chassis or the 8x8 Tatra 815 chassis for example. The CAESAR platform was developed by French defense contractor GIAT Industries (now known as Nexter) and has been exported to various countries including Belgium, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.

Development[edit]

CAESAR was developed in the 1990s as a technology demonstrator by the French state-owned company GIAT Industries, in cooperation with Lohr Industrie. It was first shown in public in 1994. Four years later, a pre-production model underwent trials with the French Army.[5]

Under ordinary conditions, Nexter can produce 10 CAESARs per year.[6]

Design[edit]

CAESAR howitzer on a Unimog U2450L 6x6 chassis

The CAESAR is a wheeled, 155mm 52-caliber self-propelled howitzer. 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.[7] It can be transported by a C-130 or A400M heavy cargo aircraft. It has a firing range of approximately 42 kilometres (26 mi) using an Extended Range, Full Bore (ERFB) shell,[8] and more than 50 kilometres (31 mi) using rocket assisted shells. The system is integrated with a fully computerized system, providing automatic control. During Eurosatory 2006, CAESAR was exhibited with an automated laying system based on the SIGMA 30 inertial navigation system.[citation needed]

It is fast to set up for firing and to leave the firing position; it can fire six rounds and move away within two minutes.[1]

Indonesian CAESAR self-propelled howitzer

In February 2022, Nexter was awarded a contract by the French Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) for the development of the CAESAR 6x6 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.[9][10]

CAESAR 8x8[edit]

On 16 September 2015 at DSEI 2015, Nexter unveiled the CAESAR 8x8 which features a high level of mobility ensured by a modified Tatra T-815 8x8 chassis.[11] The 8x8 CAESAR is fitted as standard with an unarmoured forward control four-person cab, but one of the options is a fully armour protected cab. Gross vehicle weight would depend on the level of armour protection, but is about 30 tonnes. It is powered by a 410 hp diesel engine.[12] It holds 36 rounds.[13]

Operators[edit]

Current operators[edit]

  •  Denmark: On 14 March 2017 the CAESAR 8x8 was chosen to become the new artillery system of the Royal Danish Army. 19 howitzers were purchased and installed on Tatra 815 trucks. Deliveries began in 2021.[14][15][16][17]
  •  France: The first order (for 5 howitzers) was placed on 20 September 2000. The first five units were delivered in 2003. Following the evaluation, the main order of 72 units was made in late 2004. In July 2008, the first cannon of the first series of eight was delivered to the French Army.[18] Although the order had not been signed as of 2015, a requirement was set for 32 more CAESAR on the Tatra 8x8 chassis to replace the last Auf1 gun by 2030[19]
  •  Indonesia: The Indonesian Army acquired 37 CAESAR units for $240 million, the first two arriving in mid September 2012. Another 18 were purchased in a follow-up order signed in February 2017.[20][21]
  •  Saudi Arabia: In 2006, GIAT announced a 76-unit sale plus a 4-unit option to an unspecified foreign customer, later confirmed to be Saudi Arabia.[22] The 4 optional units became firm sales in January 2007, with the first two units to be assembled in France and the other 78 in Saudi Arabia.[23] In March 2010, the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) accepted its first four of a projected 100 systems.[24]
  •  Thailand: The 6 CAESAR is operated by the Royal Thai Army (RTA) from 2010, ordered in 2006, mounted on the Sherpa 6x6 truck chassis.[2][22]
  •  Ukraine: Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, France sent 12 CAESARs[25] to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. On 22 April 2022, 40 Ukrainian soldiers arrived in France for training on the system.[26][27][28] Now operated by the 55th Artillery Brigade. The provision of six more CAESAR howitzers was announced by President Macron on 16 June 2022, bringing the total number donated to 18.

Future operators[edit]

  •  Belgium: Following the acquisition of the Griffon and Jaguar within the CaMo-program, Belgium decided in 2021 to order 9 CAESAR NG 6x6 howitzers in a contract of approximately €48 million. In June 2022 a €62 million contract was signed for 9 for delivery between 2025 and 2027.[29][30]
  •  Czech Republic: In June 2020, CAESAR 8x8 won a €200 million contract for the Czech Army. The Army decided to buy 52 howitzers that will be installed on the Czech Tatra 815–7T3RC1 8×8.[31]
  •  Lithuania In June 2022 Lithuania joined the CAESAR NG (Mk2) program with an order for 18 units, with first deliveries expected in 2026.[32][33]
  •  Morocco In early 2020, Morocco inked the purchase of 36 CAESAR 6x6 howitzers.[34][35][36]

Operational deployment[edit]

Map of CAESAR operators in blue

Eight CAESARs were sent to Afghanistan during the summer of 2009 to support French operations. They were deployed[37] on 1 August 2009[38] by the 3rd Marine Artillery Regiment (3è RAMa), followed by five others, deployed as a firebase in FOB Tora, Tagab and Nijrab. They are fitted with cabin armor add-ons, with fireport.

The French Army deployed this system in southern Lebanon as part of the UNIFIL peace keeping force.

During Operation Serval in Mali, four CAESAR were deployed by the 68e régiment d'artillerie d'Afrique (68th Artillery Regiment of Africa).[39]

In April 2011, the Royal Thai Army used the CAESAR against Cambodia's BM-21. The Thai Army claimed that they destroyed two or more BM-21 systems.[40]

Several CAESAR were deployed in Mali by France during Operation Serval, in which they saw action in the Battle of Ifoghas, amongst others. France also deployed four CAESAR to Iraq for the Battle of Mosul, where French forces supported the Iraqi Army's operation to reclaim Mosul from ISIL from October 2016 to July 2017.[41] Multiple CAESAR were deployed to Iraq on the border with Syria from 8 November 2018 to April 2019 to support the Syrian Democratic Forces in the Battle of Baghuz Fawqani, the ultimately successful operation to capture the final town held by the Islamic State group. They deployed to Firebase Saham, a base freshly constructed by the United States Army to provide fire support during the battle, especially during cloudy days when U.S. aircraft could not see to conduct airstrikes.[42]

CAESAR howitzers may have been used by Saudi Arabia in the Yemeni war against civilian targets.[43]

CAESAR howitzers were provided by France and used by Ukraine in the Russo-Ukrainian War.[27]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e "CAESAR 8x8: 155 mm self-propelled gun-howitzer". Archived from the original on 23 May 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b Caesar self propelled gun-www.defense-update.com Archived 21 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 13 February 2007
  3. ^ "155 mm HE ER FB-BB (OFd M3-DV)". MSM GROUP. Retrieved 29 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Renault Sherpa chassis chosen for CAESAR". ResearchGate.
  5. ^ "Nexter Systems CAESAR 155 mm self-propelled gun (France), Self-propelled guns and howitzers (wheeled)". Jane's Armour and Artillery. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Eurosatory 2022: Lithunia signals intent to acquire CAESAR SPH". Janes Information Services. 18 June 2022. Archived from the original on 25 June 2022.
  7. ^ "CAESAR 6X6 DÉPLOYÉ SUR LES THÉÂTRES D'OPÉRATIONS DEPUIS 2009" (PDF) (in French). Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 July 2019.
  8. ^ YAKOUT, HASSAN; ABDEL-KADER, MOHAMED S. (14–16 May 1991). ASSESSMENT OF ERFB-BB PROJECTILE (PDF). FOURTH ASAT CONFERENCE. CAIRO, EGYPT: MILITARY TECHNICAL COLLEGE. MF-366.
  9. ^ Nexter from France launches development of CAESAR 6x6 Mark II 155mm self-propelled howitzer. Army Recognition. 19 February 2022.
  10. ^ Belgium, Lithuania to buy French-made Caesar artillery system. Breaking Defense. 14 June 2022.
  11. ^ "Denmark orders CAESAR howitzers on 8x8 Tatra trucks". Archived from the original on 13 October 2017. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Janes | Latest defence and security news". Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  13. ^ "CAESAR 8X8 L'AVENIR D'UN CONCEPT RÉVOLUTIONNAIRE" (PDF) (in French). Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Nyt materiel til Forsvaret". www.fmn.dk (in Danish). Archived from the original on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  15. ^ Felstead, Peter (23 May 2017). "Nexter announces Danish 8x8 CAESAR contract". IHS Jane's 360. Archived from the original on 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Denmark purchases 4 additional Nexter CAESAR 8x8 self-propelled howitzer | October 2019 Global Defense Security army news industry | Defense Security global news industry army 2019 | Archive News year".
  17. ^ "Hærens 15 nye artillerisystemer leveres næste år efter coronaforsinkelse". 30 October 2020.
  18. ^ Daffix, Bruno. "La DGA livre le premier canon CAESAR à l'armée de terre". DGA. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2008.
  19. ^ Opex360; Artillerie : 32 CAESAR blindés remplaceront les derniers canons AUF1 en 2030 En savoir plus sur http://www.opex360.com/2015/10/24/artillerie-32-caesar-blindes-remplaceront-les-derniers-canons-auf1-en-2030/#xBBW5PRSGGXzg7iI.99; 24 October 2015 Archived 21 March 2017 at the Wayback Machine (in French)
  20. ^ "Défense : quand le Danemark veut du "Made in France"". La Tribune. 18 September 2012. Archived from the original on 5 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  21. ^ Tomkins, Richard (20 February 2017). "Nexter providing CAESAR howitzer systems to Indonesia". United Press International. Archived from the original on 21 February 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  22. ^ a b Libération; Des canons français pour l'Arabie saoudite; 20 July 2006 Archived 21 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine(in French)
  23. ^ "Janes.com; Déjà 163 "feuilles" de laurier à la couronne de Caesar". Archived from the original on 1 August 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  24. ^ http://www.janes.com/news/defence/jdw/jdw100331_2_n.shtml Archived 8 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine"Saudi Arabia takes delivery of first CAESARs",Jane's Information Group, 31 March 2010
  25. ^ "For first time, France talks openly about sending weapons to Ukraine". 5 May 2022.
  26. ^ "Love Map Ukraine". 22 April 2022.
  27. ^ a b Montefiori, Propos recueillis par Michael Backfisch, Céline Bardy, Gaëlle Fleitour, Laurent Marchand et Stefano (22 April 2022). "" Le risque d'escalade en Ukraine est très fort "". Ouest-France.fr (in French). Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  28. ^ Lagneau, Laurent (22 April 2022). "Artillerie : M. Macron annonce la livraison par la France de CAESAr à l'Ukraine". Zone Militaire (in French). Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  29. ^ "Na de controverse over de aankoop van de F-35, kiest het Belgisch leger ditmaal voor een nieuw Frans kanon". 3 November 2021.
  30. ^ Lagneau, Laurent (30 June 2022). "Artillerie : La Belgique va commander 19 CAESAr de nouvelle génération supplémentaires à la France". Zone Militaire (in French). Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  31. ^ "Houfnice CAESAR pro Armádu České republiky". Archived from the original on 28 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  32. ^ Lagneau, Laurent (13 June 2022). "La Lituanie a l'intention d'équiper un bataillon d'artillerie avec des CAESAr acquis auprès de Nexter" (in French). Zone Militaire. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  33. ^ "Lithuania to buy howitzers from France". France24. 14 June 2022.
  34. ^ Guessous, Hamza (22 January 2020). "Morocco Plans to Acquire €400 Million in Armaments from France". Morocco World News. Archived from the original on 29 June 2020. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  35. ^ Cabirol, Michel (21 January 2020). "Armement : le Maroc achète un peu de "Made in France" mais énormément de "Made in USA"". La Tribune. Archived from the original on 26 June 2020. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  36. ^ "Morocco to purchase 36 French Nexter CAESAR 155mm 6x6 self-propelled howitzers | Defense News November 2020 Global Security army industry | Defense Security global news industry army 2020 | Archive News year". www.armyrecognition.com. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  37. ^ Libération; La France va envoyer des CAESAR en Afghanistan; 29 June 2009 Archived 1 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine (in French)
  38. ^ http://www.defense.gouv.fr/ema/operations_exterieures/afghanistan/breves_et_photos/afghanistan_arrivee_des_caesa[dead link]
  39. ^ "FOB – Forces Operations Blog » Mali: VBCI et Caesar engagés dans l'opération Serval". Archived from the original on 5 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  40. ^ "Artillery : Caesar Gets Bulletproof, Just In Case - RP Defense". RP Defense. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  41. ^ "Mossoul : le Charles de Gaulle manque le début de l'offensive". Ouest-France.fr (in French). 17 October 2016. Archived from the original on 20 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  42. ^ Welch, Jason (18 December 2018). "Firebase Saham: A day in the life of joint-artillerymen securing the Iraq border". www.army.mil. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  43. ^ "French-made tanks and howitzer canons used in Yemeni war: Disclose". Reuters. 15 April 2019. Archived from the original on 12 May 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2019.

External links[edit]