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 motorized 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 program, 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 6x6 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 caliber 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 6x6 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 armored cabin, resistant to improvised explosive devices and small-caliber 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 6x6 MkII.
Nexter, the leading French land defense company and one of the main European players in the ammunition sector is part of the KNDS Group. The scope of its business includes as well the supply of weapon systems and ammunition for air and naval forces. The group continues to apply its international development policy with several order intakes in 2021 intended for the export market.
In France, Nexter is fully committed to meeting the objectives of the SCORPION program, through the upgrade of the Leclerc tank and the development and production of the VBMR GRIFFON and EBRC JAGUAR vehicles within the temporary business venture between Nexter, Thales and Arquus, as well as the Lightweight VBMR SERVAL (with Texelis).
The group’s range of products also includes TITUS® and VBCI armored vehicles, CAESAR® and 105LG1 artillery systems, smart ammunition (BONUS®, KATANA®), robots and many equipment.
Nexter’s 2021 turnover amounted to €1.3 billion, including 30% devoted to customer services, from training to fleet management to support and revaluation.