New record for French CAESAR 155mm 6x6 howitzer firing Raytheon Excalibur projectiles at 46 km

According to information and video published by the American company Raytheon Missiles & Defense, the French Nexter CAESAR 6x6 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer firing Raytheon Excalibur extended-range artillery projectiles directly struck two targets at a distance of more than 46 kilometers, a record-setting range for this artillery gun system.
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CAESAR 155mm 6x6 self-propelled howitzer manufactured by the French company Nexter firing Raytheon Excalibur projectiles struck two targets at a distance of more than 46 km. (Picture source Screenshot Raytheon video)

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, in partnership with the U.S. Army and French company Nexter successfully fired Excalibur artillery projectiles from a CAESAR 155mm self-propelled howitzer. The test proved compatibility between Excalibur, the U.S. Army’s Modular Artillery Charge System (MACS), and CAESAR.

“Integration with CAESAR now adds a level of mobility to the long-range and proven precision of Excalibur, providing the U.S. Army and partner nations more flexibility for this advanced, versatile weapons system for contested environments,” said Sam Deneke, vice president of execution for Land Warfare & Air Defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “This success highlights the interoperability of a French howitzer with a U.S. munition and offers our customers more options to deploy Excalibur artillery from a range of platforms.”

Building on previous compatibility tests, this demonstration marked an important milestone toward operational capability for Excalibur’s integration with CAESAR.

“Chosen by eight partner nations, CAESAR is arguably the most successful truck-mounted artillery system available today,” said Thierry Soulat, program manager at Nexter. “This demonstration with Excalibur underscores CAESAR’s compatibility with NATO standards for both conventional and smart ammunition.”

Recently, the French Nexter CAESAR 155mm 6x6 self-propelled howitzer was tested by the U.S. Army in the framework of an urgent need for a self-propelled howitzer to be deployed in Europe in replacement of the towed (and indisputably excellent) M777A2

The CAESAR is a truck-mounted 155mm self-propelled howitzer developed, designed, and manufactured by the French company Nexter. The CAESAR 6x6 has equipped the French army since 2008 and participated in France's main engagements abroad (Afghanistan, Lebanon, Mali, Iraq). In Iraq in particular, Task Force Wagram supported the troops deployed on the ground against Daesh alongside American and Iraqi artillery units.

Available in 6x6 or 8x8 configuration, the CAESAR is armed with a 155 mm/52 caliber cannon mounted at the rear of the truck chassis. It can be used to provide fire support at long distances with a firing range from 4.5 to 40 km and a high level of accuracy with the LU ammunition family. The CAESAR can also be used to destroy ground targets indirect firing mode with an elevation range from -3° to +10°, with traverse between 21° left and 27° right. It can be also used in direct firing mode with a maximum range of 2 km. 

The Excalibur precision-guided projectile is co-developed by Raytheon Missiles & Defense and BAE Systems Bofor. The Excalibur projectile is a true precision weapon, impacting at a radial miss distance of less than two meters from the target. Unlike “near precision” guidance systems, the Excalibur weapon provides accurate first-round effects at all ranges in all weather conditions. This weapon system also extends the reach of .39-caliber artillery to 40 km and .52-caliber artillery to more than 50 km.

By using the Excalibur projectile's level of precision, there is a dramatic reduction in the time, cost, and logistical burden associated with other artillery munitions. Analyses have shown that on average, it can take at least 10 conventional munitions to accomplish what one Excalibur weapon can.

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