The French government has reward Nexter Systems a Caesar NG next-generation artillery system contract for 600 million euros ($681 million).
The contract includes 33 Caesar NG pistols and the retrofit or replacement of 76 existing Caesar pistols by 2031. The decision to purchase 76 new pistols or retrofit older ones is expected in 2024.
The Caeser is a 155 mm wheeled self-propelled gun capable of firing six rounds per minute at a range of up to 40 km (25 miles). It can travel at a maximum speed of 80 km/h (50 mph) for 600 km (373 miles) without refueling and is transportable by the C130 Hercules and A400M Atlas military transport aircraft.
The new gun will have three major upgrades over the current version, including a new 6×6 compact truck chassis with an automatic gearbox and a 460 HP engine. These upgrades allow the vehicle to operate off-road and are part of the Scorpion program aimed at “enhanced platforms linked to a unique battlefield management and communications system for optimized fire support and security”.
The NG will have an upgraded 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 shooting and to make it compatible with “future precision rounds” as well as current models.