The French government has awarded Nexter Systems a Caesar NG next-generation artillery system contract for 600 million euros ($681 million).
The contract includes 33 Caesar NG guns and the modernization or replacement of 76 existing Caesar guns by 2031. The decision to buy 76 new guns or retrofit the older ones is expected in 2024.
The Caeser is a wheeled, self-propelled, 155 mm gun capable of firing six rounds per minute at a distance of up to 40 kilometers (25 miles).
It can travel at a maximum speed of 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour for 600 kilometers (373 miles) without refueling and is transportable by the C130 Hercules and A400M Atlas military transport aircraft.
The new gun will have three major improvements over the present version, including a new compact 6×6 truck chassis with an automatic gearbox and a 460 HP engine.
These upgrades enable the vehicle to run off-road and are part of the Scorpion program seeking “improved platforms linked with a single communications and battlefield management system for optimized fire support and safety.”
The NG will have an improved armored cabin to better protect the crew against “improvised explosive devices, mines, infantry weapon fire, and artillery shrapnel.”
Further improvements will be made to the system’s artillery for better firing and to make it compatible with “future precision ammunition” along with the current models.