6x6 self-propelled howitzer
CAESAR Truck equipped with an artillery system 155mm gun - Made in France
The French Company Nexter Systems, which is now part of the KNDS group with the German Company KMW (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann), has developed two types of wheeled self-propelled howitzers in 6x6 and 8x8 configurations. In 2008, the CAESAR 6x6 equipped massively the French Army. The CAESAR 155mm howitzer on 6x6 chassis benefits from exceptional strategical and tactical mobility with unrivaled firepower. Its 155 mm/52 caliber howitzer provides fire support combining accuracy and extended range, and its wheeled chassis allows for air transport, while at the same time limiting its transport costs. Since CAESAR entered in service, this outstanding artillery system has become combat-proven during external combat operations in Afghanistan, Mali, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, the Sahel region, the Middle East, and East Asia. The CAESAR has served under severe real conditions of engagement (wind, dust, night, snow, the mountain in winter, jungle, deserts of sand and rocks, during extreme temperature, etc.) and has given complete satisfaction to its users. To date, the CAESAR has already fired more than 100,000 shells and has covered more than 1milion kilometers including 50,000 km in combat operations. The first version of the CAESAR was sold on a Mercedes-Benz Unimog U2450L 6x6 chassis and deployed by a customer in the Middle East. The latest versions are based on a Renault Trucks Defense (now ARQUUS) Sherpa 6x6 truck chassis fitted with an armored cab. The 155mm howitzer can be mounted on other truck chassis following customer requirements. The CAESAR in 6x6 and 8x8 configurations are already in service with France and Europe, Middle-East, South, and East Asia. More than 300 CAESAR mobile artillery gun systems have already been produced to date. On April 22, 2022, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the delivery of CAESAR 155mm howitzers to Ukraine. According to information published in May 2022, the Colombian army could acquire four French-made CAESAR. On May 25, 2022, Ukraine confirmed the deployment of the French-made CAESAR howitzers on its national territory to fight Russian troops. On September 22, 2022, Ukraine announced talks with France for the delivery of more CAESAR howitzers, in addition to the 18 that had already been delivered. On January 1, 2023, the IndoDefensa website announced that Colombia will purchase an undisclosed number of CAESAR howitzers for an amount of around $100 million. On January 6, 2023, the "Defense News" website announced that Colombia selected the Israeli-made ATMOS 155mm truck-mounted self-propelled howitzer over the French CAESAR.
6x6 wheeled self-propelled howitzers CAESAR Nexter variants:
- The 155mm howitzer can be mounted on other truck chassis following customer requirements. The CAESAR has already been tested on chassis supplied by the companies IVECO, MERCEDES, ASHOK Leyland, and SOFRAME.
The 6x6 wheeled self-propelled howitzer CAESAR is armed with a 155 mm/52 caliber cannon mounted at the rear of the truck chassis. The cannon inherits of the long tradition of cannons by Nexter (ex- GIAT Industries), with the French-made TRF1 155mm towed howitzer and the AUF1 self-propelled howitzer on tracked armored chassis. The cannon of the CAESAR has a hydraulic elevation of maximum +66° and a traverse of 17° on the left and right. In the case of hydraulic system failure, the cannon is equipped with manual control. The CAESAR can also be used to destroy ground targets indirect firing mode with an elevation range from -3° to +10°, with a traverse between 21° left and 27° right. The weapon has an automatic hydraulic laying system. Charges and projectiles are loaded manually on the stretcher to be then loaded automatically. The vehicle can carry a total of 18 155mm projectiles and charges which are stored in enclosed ammunition boxes located at the right and left sides of the truck chassis. The 155mm/52 caliber of the CAESAR can fire a wide range of ammunition: among others, LU family (HE, Illuminating, Smoke and Practice) filled with insensitive or conventional explosives, the BONUS (Anti-Tank, smart), ERFB NR (Explosive Extended-Range Full-Bore), as well as the new KATANA 155mm, guided artillery ammunition. It has a firing range from 4.5 to 40 km and a high level of accuracy with the LU family. In direct firing mode, the maximum range is 2 km. Most of these ammunitions are also designed and produced by Nexter. The CAESAR can be set into and out of action in less than a minute to avoid enemy counter-battery fire. It has a maximum rate of fire of 6rounds/min.
|Design and protection|
The 6x6 155mm self-propelled howitzer CAESAR is based on a military 6x6 truck chassis Sherpa manufactured by the French company ARQUUS, previously Renault Trucks Defense. The artillery system of the CAESAR can be mounted on other 6x6 or 8x8 military truck chassis according to customer requirements. The CAESAR has already been tested on chassis supplied by the companies IVECO, MERCEDES, ASHOK Leyland, and SOFRAME. The CAESAR has a crew from 3 to 5 soldiers. The 155 mm gun system is mounted at the rear of the truck chassis with a crew cab at the front which can be armored to provide ballistic protection against small caliber bullets and artillery shell splinters. In the driving position, the cannon is held in position by a clamp located to the immediate rear of the cab. This clamp is remotely operated. In the firing position, a large spade is hydraulically lowered at the rear of the truck chassis to provide a stable firing platform. The four rear wheels are raised clear of the ground so that the large spade absorbs all the firing recoil.
|The 6x6 155mm self-propelled howitzer using the Sherpa 6x6 truck chassis is motorized with a Renault dCI 6 diesel engine coupled to a manual gearbox with 8 forward and 1 reverse gears. It can reach a maximum road speed of 90 km/h, or 50 km/h in off-road conditions, with a maximum cruising range of 600 km. It can climb a slope of more than 40% and a side slope of 30%. It can cross 1.20m-deep fords without preparation.|
|Standard equipment of the 6x6 self-propelled howitzer CAESAR includes different types of artillery pointing and positioning systems like the Safran Sigma 30 and the iXBlue system and an onboard Reference Package/Position Data System (RP/PDS) that includes GPS. The CAESAR is also equipped with a computerized firing control system located in the crew cab, but a screen is also available at the rear of the gun system that displays elevation, traverse, projectile, charge, and fuse type when the system is deployed in firing position. It can be used in autonomous mode or connected to the network of artillery C4I (command, control, communications, and intelligence) systems. Other equipment can include CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) protection, system, air conditioning, heating, automatic inflating system, and a central tire-pressure regulation system to provide control of the air pressure in each tire of a vehicle as a way to improve performance on different terrains. The CAESAR artillery system can also be fitted with Nexter’s artillery C2 (FINDART) and ballistic calculator (BACARA). These products satisfy the needs of users at all the different levels of the artillery command chain, from the battery to the upper levels. In addition to the tools available for calculating and coordinating supporting fire, they also provide tracking for logistical, tactical, and navigational solutions, which can then be interconnected with the battlefield management systems. Nexter’s offer includes simulators for the training of artillery units, be it physical sessions (CAESAR Crew Training System) or digital sessions (tutorials, 3D simulators, etc.). Configurable and scalable, these tools make it possible to significantly reduce the cost of training artillery units by firing only the minimum required live munitions.|
|One 155mm/52 cal. Gun. For the CAESAR NG (Armored Version), one 7.62 mm machine gun||The standard version has a non-protected cab that can be upgraded to ballistic protection level 2 and mine protection level 2, IED protected|
|France, Indonesia, Thailand||Less than 18,000 kg|
|Designer Country||Vehicle speed|
|France - Nexter Systems||90 km/h on road, 50 km/h off-road|
|Inertial navigation system for land navigation and gun-laying - GPS compatible, muzzle velocity radar, ballistic computer (adaptable to any Fire Control System), Auxiliary Power Unit, maintenance (spare wheels, winch, ...)||600 km|
|Onboard ammunition||Firing range|
|18||- Standard ammunition: 4,5 to 40 km |
- Extended Range Full Bore: 42 km
- Velocity Enhanced Artillery Projectile (VLAP): extended range
|Crew||Driving vehicle dimensions|
|3 to 5 soldiers||Length: 9.94 m; Width: 2.55 m; Height: 3.2 m|
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