Nexter from France launches development of CAESAR 6x6 Mark II 155mm self-propelled howitzer

According to information released on February 19, 2022, French company Nexter is 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 program’s prime contractor.
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Artist rendering of Nexter CAESAR Mark II 6x6 155mm self-propelled howitzer. (Picture source Nexter Systems)

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 6v6 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.

The new generation CAESAR 6x6 retains the current configuration of the 155mm 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 armored cabin, resistant to improvised explosive devices and small-caliber 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 6x6 Mark II.

The CAESAR 6x6 Mark II will be offered to export customers.