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CAESAR Mk II experiences high demand at Eurosatory

24th June 2024 - 10:58 GMT | by Christopher F Foss in Paris


Latest production KNDS-France CAESAR Mk II (6x6) 155mm self-propelled artillery system which will soon enter production. (Photo: Christopher F. Foss)

KNDS-France debuted the advanced CAESAR Mk II 155mm 6x6 self-propelled artillery system at Eurosatory last week with orders now exceeding 600 units valued at $3.5 billion.

The latest version of the blockbuster KNDS-France CAESAR, the Mk II 155mm 6x6 self-propelled (SP) artillery system, was exhibited for the first time at Eurosatory last week, with production increased to meet rising demand.

The order book now exceeds 600 units, with Shephard Defence Insight estimating that it was worth some US$3.5 billion in total. Notable customers include Belgium (19 units plus 9 Mk II on order), the Czech Republic (52 units plus 10 Mk II on order on Tatra 8x8 chassis), France, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia(Mercedes-Benz 6x6 chassis), Lithuania (18 Mk II units on order), Thailand, Morocco and Ukraine (from France and Denmark).

Denmark has received the CAESAR Mk I from France and the complete Danish Army CAESAR (8x8) fleet based on a Tatra chassis with a fully protected forward control cab. These are being replaced by another 155mm/52 cal system.

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The French Army has received an initial delivery of five units plus an additional 72 units of the CAESAR 155mm/52 cal (6x6) SP artillery systems, now termed CAESAR Mk I. The army has further contracted KNDS-France for 109 units of the advanced CAESAR Mk II, which will be the new standard for export markets, while the CAESAR Mk I will still be available for existing clients.

Production of the CAESAR systems is centralised at the Roanne facility, with the 155mm barrels supplied from Bourges. The CAESAR Mk II, designated as CAESAR New Generation by the French Army, retains the 155mm/52 cal ordnance with a23-litre chamber, compliant with the NATO Joint Ballistic Memorandum of Understanding (JBMoU).

The CAESAR Mk II is built on a new Arquus 6x6 chassis, equipped with a more robust 460hp diesel engine and automatic transmission, enhancing its power and efficiency. Additionally, it features a reinforced cab for improved protection and a central tyre inflation system for better cross-country mobility.

The vehicle’s gross weight is approximately 26.7 tonnes. Deliveries to the French Army are scheduled from 2026–30, gradually replacing the existing CAESAR Mk I systems and the last of the AUF1 155mm tracked SP artillery regiments based on the modified AMX-30 tank chassis.

The CAESAR Mk II boasts an impressive range, exceeding 40km with Base Bleed Extended Range Full Bore ammunition and more than 55km with rocket-assisted projectiles. It is equipped with an onboard computerised fire control system, inertial navigation system, and can transition into and out of action in less than 60 seconds.

It also features automatic re-laying after each shot, enhancing its operational efficiency. The CAESAR has been deployed extensively by the French Army in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Mali, firing more than 18,000 rounds in one engagement, with 70% utilising Charge 5 and 6 for extended range. Additionally, Ukraine has employed the system using shoot-and-scoot tactics and pre-deployed 155mm ammunition.

The CAESAR Mk II represents a significant advancement in SP artillery systems, integrating cutting-edge technology and enhanced operational capabilities. With increasing global orders and strategic deliveries planned, KNDS-France is poised to solidify its market presence as it attempts to address the evolving needs of modern artillery warfare.

Shephard's Eurosatory 2024 coverage is sponsored by:

BAE Systems

Sherpa Medium Family - Sherpa 5

Caesar 8x8

Caesar 6x6

Christopher F Foss


Christopher F Foss

Christopher F Foss is an internationally recognised authority on armoured fighting vehicles, artillery and other weapon systems, …

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