French Army Ordered 109 Next-generation CEASAR Mk2 Howitzers

The French DGA procurement agency has confirmed an order for 109 advanced CAESAR Mark II Next Generation (NG) howitzers from Nexter, a subsidiary of KNDS.

According to a press release from KNDS, the first delivery is expected in 2026.

This order, outlined in the 2024-2030 military programming law, will gradually replace the aging AUF1 howitzers and the CAESAR 6×6 MkI used by the French Army.

As noted by the company, it marks a major milestone for the French artillery, providing them with an unprecedented capability since the introduction of the CAESAR 6×6 system in 2008. The order also includes support for the CAESAR MkII during its initial two years of operation.

The CAESAR MkII’s development was initiated in December 2021, as announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex in Roanne.

The MkII cabin’s protection is reinforced against mines and ballistic projectiles to withstand improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and small-caliber ammunition, addressing the challenges faced during recent French engagements in Afghanistan and the Sahel.

The improved 155mm truck-mounted artillery receives a new and more powerful engine (460 HP compared to the previous 215 HP), an automatic transmission, and a redesigned chassis provided by Arquus, enhancing its mobility. Also it is equipped with state-of-the-art fire control software, and its cabin is designed to accommodate the future generation of NCT-t radio stations.

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