Nexter has been awarded the contract for the development of the CAESAR 6X6 Mark II new generation (NG) artillery system by the French Direction générale de l’armement (DGA), the programme’s prime contractor.
The contract provides for an initial four-year development and qualification phase, after which the CAESAR 6X6 Mark II will enter production. In 2024, the DGA will have two options: either to launch the production of 109 new CAESARs 6X6 Mark II, or to launch the production of 33 new CAESARs 6X6 Mark II supplemented by the retrofit of the 76 CAESARs in service today. Thus, 109 CAESARs 6X6 Mark II will be delivered to the French army’s artillery regiments by 2031. The contract also includes an initial fixed-price support service for the future artillery systems for a period of two years, according to a Nexter statement.
The new generation CAESAR 6×6 retains the current configuration of the artillery system, which has proven itself in operations (more than 100,000 rounds fired in OPEX since 2009) and has been a success in export.
The main improvements concern crew protection and mobility. To this end, Nexter is adding a level 2 mine and ballistic armoured cabin, resistant to improvised explosive devices and small-calibre ammunition. In addition, the vehicle’s mobility has been completely redesigned by Arquus. The CAESAR 6X6 Mark II is equipped with a new engine (460 HP compared to 215 HP previously), a new automatic gearbox and a new chassis.
Finally, the CAESAR 6X6 Mark II carries the latest version of fire control software, and the cab is prepared to accommodate the new CONTACT radio. The Thales BARAGE jammer can also be installed on the CAESAR 6×6 Mark II. The CAESAR 6X6 Mark II will be offered to export customers. — kf/mhi/mgm (Image: Nexter)