CAESAR howitzer on a Unimog U2450L 6x6 chassis
|Place of origin||France|
|Wars||War in Afghanistan, Cambodian–Thai border stand-off, Operation Serval|
|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 (3, emergency)|
|600 km (370 mi)|
|Speed||On-road: 100 km/h (62 mph)|
Off-road: 50 km/h (31 mph)
The CAESAR from CAmion Equipé d'un Système d'ARtillerie (French language: Truck equipped with an artillery system) is a 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; it was first shown in public in 1994. Four years later a pre-production model underwent trials with the French Army.
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 men. 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. 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 from crews. 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.
- 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 8 was delivered to the French Army.
- Saudi Arabia: In 2006, GIAT announced a 76-unit sale plus a 4-unit option to an unspecified foreign customer which was rumoured 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 also acquire 37 units of Caesars for 240 million dollars and the first two arrived on mid September 2012.
Potential and future operators
- The CAESAR is competing to become the new artillery system of the Danish Army. The budget will support from 9-21 howitzers.
In June 2009, the French Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed that 8 CAESAR will be sent to Afghanistan to support French operations. They should be deployed during the summer.
Three have been deployed 1 August 2009 by the 3rd Marine Artillery Regiment, followed by five others, to be place as 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.
- 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. http://web.archive.org/web/20080725230347/http://www.defense.gouv.fr/dga/votre_espace/presse/communiques/2008/la_dga_livre_le_premier_canon_caesar_a_l_armee_de_terre. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
- 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
- "Saudi Arabia takes delivery of first CAESARs",Jane's Information Group, 31 March 2010
- Défense : quand le Danemark veut du "Made in France"
- Indonesia Signs Contract for 37 Self-Propelled Artillery "Caesar"
- , (Danish).
- Libération; La France va envoyer des CAESAR en Afghanistan; 29 June 2009(in French)
- (English) Caesar Renault Sherpa 5 Nexter wheeled self-propelled howitzer
- (English) Caesar 155mm Artillery System, France
- (English) CAESAR page at Janes.com
- (French) CAESAR description by Nexter Systems
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