France ordered a new 155mm/52-cal howitzer: 460hp, new armor, and FCS

PARIS, ($1=0.88 Euros) — The French armaments authority Direction générale de l’armement [DGA] has commissioned Nexter as the prime contractor to develop the new generation [NG] CAESAR 6X6 Mark II artillery system, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Soldat&Technik. According to Nexter, the new system will go into production at the end of a four-year development and qualification phase.

Iraq interested 155mm artillery 6 shells/min and auto-repointing
Photo credit: Nexter

In 2024, the company expects to decide on whether to produce 109 CAESAR 6×6 Mark II systems or to produce 33 new systems and retrofit 76 existing CAESAR systems. In any case, the artillery regiments of the French army should have 109 systems with the new scope of performance from 2031 and receive logistical support for two years.

The basis is the CAESAR 6×6 system introduced into the French armed forces in 2000 on a Renault Sherpa chassis. An export version is made mobile with a 6×6 chassis of the Unimog U 2450. Weighing less than 18 tons, the system can be deployed in transport aircraft such as the C-130 and the A400M. According to Nexter, CAESAR 6×6 systems have been used in missions since 2009 and together have fired more than 100,000 shots.

While the weapon system with the 155 mm cannon with 52 caliber lengths is to remain unchanged in configuration, protection of the crew and mobility are to be brought to a new level, Nexter describes the objective of the development. Arquus is supplying a new chassis with an engine that, at 340 kW, has more than twice the power of its predecessor.

A new automatic transmission relieves the driver. From Nexter comes a cabin that offers protection against mines, improvised explosive devices, and small-caliber ammunition. The cabin is prepared to accommodate the new CONTACT radios and BARRAGE jammers. The latest version of the fire control software is to be implemented to direct the firefight.

As we reported on February 14, according several french experts, Iraq is very interested in acquiring several 155mm Caesar self-propelled howitzers from the French company Nexter Group. Baghdad has been said to be interested in this model since 2017 when the French sent four Caesar howitzers to help the Iraqi army in the battle of Mosul. A year later, the French deployed a Caesar self-propelled howitzer on the border with Syria to support the Syrian Democratic Forces in the battle of Baghdad Faukani.

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