13/06/2022 – The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has ordered 9 CAESAR 6X6 Mark II from Nexter to equip the Belgian armed forces’ Land component from 2027. This notification is part of the intergovernmental agreement on the second motorised capability (CaMo 2), signed by Belgian Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder and French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly.
The Belgian armed forces are acquiring a new artillery capability with the purchase of a battery of 9 CAESAR 6X6 MkII designed by Nexter and Arquus. The Belgian armed forces’ Land component will thus be able to strengthen their interoperability with the French Army, in accordance with the objectives of the CaMo programme, which aims to pool the doctrines and equipment of these two armies. The CAESAR will join the JAGUAR and GRIFFON vehicles within the units of the Belgian armed forces’ Land Component. Moreover, this order from a strategic partner of France confirms the success of the CAESAR and the confidence placed in this system even before the 6X6 MkII version entered service in the French Army.
The CAESAR is a 155mm artillery system mounted on a truck chassis. Being the lightest in its class, it demonstrates unmatched tactical, operational and strategic mobility. It is air transportable in an A400M or even a C130 for the 6×6 version, is suitable for light infrastructure and consumes very little fuel. The CAESAR is an excellent solution for high-intensity combat that can be put in and out of battery in less than 45 seconds, fire 6 rounds per minute and resupply very quickly (18 rounds/minute) in order to maintain its mobility, the only effective protection against modern guided munitions. Its 155mm/52 calibre gun is the only one in the world to be “long range proven” in conditions close to high intensity combat. It has demonstrated this within the Task Force Wagram in Iraq from 2016 to 2019, with nearly 18,000 rounds fired in outdoor temperatures close to 50°C.
The CAESAR 6×6 MkII retains the artillery system of the version already in service, which has proven itself in operations and has been successful in export. The main improvements concern crew protection and mobility. To this end, Nexter is adding a level 2 STANAG mine and ballistic armoured cabin, resistant to improvised explosive devices and small-calibre ammunition. In addition, the vehicle’s mobility has been entirely 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 generation chassis. Finally, the CAESAR 6X6 Mk 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 6×6 MkII.
Image courtesy Nexter