CAESAR self-propelled howitzer
CAESAR howitzer on a Unimog U2450L 6x6 chassis
|Place of origin||France|
|Wars||War in Afghanistan, Cambodian–Thai border stand-off, Operation Serval, Battle of Mosul|
|Weight||17.7 tonnes (6×6)|
|Length||10 m (32 ft 10 in)|
|Width||2.55 m (8 ft 4 in)|
|Height||3.7 m (12 ft 2 in)|
|Crew||5-6 (3, emergency)|
|600 km (370 mi)|
|Speed||On-road: 100 km/h (62 mph)
Off-road: 50 km/h (31 mph)
The CAESAR (CAmion Equipé 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 6X6 truck chassis. Examples built for the French Army use a Renault Sherpa 10 chassis, examples built for export utilize the 6x6 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.
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.
The Caesar artillery system evolved from the earlier 155 AM F3 automotive gun, which used the chassis of the AMX-13 light tank.
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 as few as three persons. It can be transported by C-130 or A400M, and has a firing range of approximately 42 km using an Extended Range, Full Bore (ERFB) shell, and more than 50 km using rocket assisted shells. The system is integrated with a fully computerized system, providing an automatic control. During Eurosatory 2006, CAESAR was exhibited with an automated laying system based on the SIGMA 30 inertial navigation system.
Nexter is developing an armored cab for the CAESAR in response to demand for more protection for the crew. The additional armor will protect against IEDs and roadside bombs, anti-vehicle mines, and 155 mm shells landing as close as five meters (16 feet) away from the vehicle. It can be added to the cabs of existing CAESARs. Heavier armor will increase its weight by 400 kg (880 pounds) and raise the price by 4-5 percent.
In 16 September 2015, Nexter has unveiled the Caesar 8x8 at DSEI 2015 with high level of mobility ensured by a modified Tatra T-815 8x8 chassis. The 8x8 Caesar being shown is fitted with a standard 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.
- France: The first order (for 5 howitzers) was passed on 20 September 2000. The first five units were delivered in 2003. Following the evaluation, the main order of 72 units were made in late 2004. In July 2008, the first cannon of the first series of eight was delivered to the French Army. Although the order is not signed yet, a requirement was set for 32 more CAESAR on the Tatra 8*8 chassis to replace the last Auf1 by 2030
- 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. The 4 optional units became firm sales on January 2007. The two first units will be assembled in France as the 78 other ones will be assembled in Saudi Arabia. In March 2010, the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) accepted its first four of a projected 100 systems.
- Indonesia: Indonesian Army acquired 37 units of Caesars for $240 million and the first two arrived on mid September 2012. Another 18 were purchased in a follow-up order signed in February 2017.
- Lebanon: France has accepted to provide Lebanon with 28 CAESAR systems, financed by the Saudi grant.
- Thailand: The 6 CAESAR is operated by Royal Thailand Army (RTA) from 2010, ordered in 2006, mounted on the Sherpa6x6 truck chassis.
- Denmark: On 14 March 2017 the CAESAR 8 X 8 was chosen to become the new artillery system of the Danish Army. 15 howitzers will be purchased and installed on Tatra 8×8 trucks. Deliveries are to commence in 2020.
In June 2009, the French Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed that eight CAESAR would be sent to Afghanistan to support French operations. They were deployed during the summer.
Three were deployed 1 August 2009 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 as the UNIFIL peace keeping force.
Four CAESAR were deployed to Iraq for the Battle of Mosul, where French forces are supporting the Iraqi army and an international coalition forces to reclaim Mosul from ISIL in October 2016 and into the first half of 2017.
Nexter Caesar Heavy Version on Tatra T-815
- Caesar self propelled gun-www.defense-update.com; retrieved 13 February 2007
- "Nexter Systems CAESAR 155 mm self-propelled gun (France), Self-propelled guns and howitzers (wheeled)". Jane's Armour and Artillery. February 10, 2010. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
- Caesar Gets Bulletproof, Just In Case - Strategypage.com, 15 June 2013
- Daffix, Bruno. "La DGA livre le premier canon Caesar à l'armée de terre". DGA. Archived from the original on 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
- 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(in French)
- Libération; Des canons français pour l'Arabie saoudite; 20 July 2006(in French)
- "Janes.com; Déjà 163 "feuilles" de laurier à la couronne de Caesar". Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- "Saudi Arabia takes delivery of first CAESARs",Jane's Information Group, 31 March 2010
- "Défense : quand le Danemark veut du "Made in France"". La Tribune. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- NurW. "Indonesia Signs Contract for 37 Self-Propelled Artillery "Caesar"". Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- 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.
- "Nyt materiel til Forsvaret". www.fmn.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 2017-03-14.
- "Denmark selects CAESAR self-propelled 155mm gun-howitzer installed on an 8X8 truck chassis". Defence Blog. 15 March 2017. Archived from the original on 15 March 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
- 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.
- Libération; La France va envoyer des CAESAR en Afghanistan; 29 June 2009(in French)
- "FOB – Forces Operations Blog » Mali: VBCI et Caesar engagés dans l'opération Serval". Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- "Artillery : Caesar Gets Bulletproof, Just In Case - RP Defense". RP Defense. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- "Mossoul : le Charles de Gaulle manque le début de l'offensive". Ouest-France.fr (in French). 17 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Camion équipé d'un système d'artillerie.|
- (in English) Caesar Renault Sherpa 5 Nexter wheeled self-propelled howitzer
- (in English) Caesar 155mm Artillery System, France
- (in English) CAESAR page at Janes.com
- (in French) CAESAR description by Nexter Systems