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New French-made Nexter CAESAR 155mm 8x8 self-propelled howitzer of Danish Army

The new CAESAR artillery system of the Danish army is a 155m 8x8 wheeled self-propelled howitzer based on an 8x8 truck chassis produced by the French Company Nexter. In May 2017, Nexter Systems has signed a contract with Denmark for the purchase of 15 truck-mounted artillery systems.
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The new Nexter 155mm 8x8 wheeled self-propelled howitzer of the Danish Army. (Picture source Danish MoD)

In November 2019, it was announced that the Danish army will acquire four additional CAESAR self-propelled howitzers based on 8x8 military truck chassis produced by the Czech company Tatra.

The CAESAR artillery system delivered to the Danish Army is a new version based on an 8x8 modified truck chassis Czech-made Tatra T-815 that was unveiled by the French Company Nexter during the defense exhibition in London, DSEI in September 2015. The French company has developed the new concept of Caesar to respond of new customer requirements with the use of a new automatic loading system and to increase the payload to carry more ammunition and charges.

The main armament of the Nexter Caesar 8x8 consists of one 155mm/52 cal gun which is similar to the cannon mounted on the 6x6 Caesar. The Caesar 8x8 as a maximum rate of fire of 6 rounds/min. It can carry a total of 30 155mm projectiles and charges, the 155mm cannon has a powered elevation of maximum +72° and traverse 30° left/right and a large hydraulically operated spade is lowered at the rear to provide a more stable firing platform.

The CAESAR 8x8 has a firing range from 4.5 to 40 km with standard ammunition and 55Km using VLAP (Very Long-range Artillery Projectile) rounds. It can be also used against land targets at a maximum range of 2Km. In option, the roof of the truck cab can be fitted with a remotely operated weapon station armed with a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm gun.

New French made Nexter CAESAR 155mm 8x8 self propelled howitzer of Danish Army 925 002
French Army CAESAR 155mm 6x6 wheeled self-propelled howitzer. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The CAESAR was one of the first wheeled 155mm self-propelled howitzers produced for the military market. The CAESAR was fully developed and designed by the French Company Nexter Systems to fill this gap for a lighter 155 mm 52 caliber self-propelled artillery system that could be deployed more easily by military transport aircraft.

The 155mm in 6x6 configuration is now in service with many countries all over the world, including Denmark, France, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand. France has also accepted to provide the Lebanese Army with 28 CAESAR systems, financed by Saudi Arabia. The CAESAR is a combat-proven artillery system that was deployed during combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, and Lebanon. It was also used by the Saudi army for the conflict in Yemen.

The latest generation of CAESAR is based on a modified ARQUUS (formerly Renault Trucks Defense) truck chassis offering high level of cross-country mobility. A 155 mm 52 caliber upgraded version of the TRF1 towed artillery system is mounted at the rear of the truck chassis. The front of the truck is fitted with a fully enclosed cab has with six seats for the crew.

The 155m gun system of the CAESAR uses a semi-automatic loading system including an automatic hydraulic laying system. The projectiles are manually introduced into the barrel loading system by the crew, but to reduce crew fatigue and increase the rate of fire, an automatic projectile loader is mounted to the right side of the breach. The propelling charges, which can be of the conventional type or the more recent modular charge type, are loaded manually.

The CAESAR has a maximum rate of fire is 6 rds/min and a burst rate of fire of three rounds in 18 seconds can be reached in normal use. It can come into action, fire a burst of six rounds, and move its firing position in 3 minutes. The 155 mm 52 caliber cannon has a range from 18 to 42 km.

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