A little over a year ago, Prague announced its intention to order 52 CAmion Equipped with a 155mm ARtillery System, commonly referred to as CAESAR, with its designer, the French company Nexter, for an amount of € 224 million. The validation of the order probably took longer than expected, but the Minister of Defense Lubomir Metnar has just, through a tweet, confirming having given the green light for the order to be effectively executed. According to the terms previously negotiated, the delivery of the 52 units mounted on an 8 × 8 Tatra platform should take place between 2022 and 2026.
This is the 7th export customer for this mobile artillery system which made a big impression in the hands of French artillerymen in Mali and Iraq. Very mobile, this 155 mm and 52 caliber gun mounted on a 6 × 6 or 8 × 8 frame depending on the version, and indeed offers many operational advantages, with a range of up to 42 km with ERFB shells, and which reaches 60 km with additional propulsion shells like the American Excalibur et the future French Katana. CAESAR can also use precision munitions, such as the BONUS anti-tank shell and the Menhir with GPS guidance. In addition, the system proved to be very precise, even at great distance with unguided shells, while maintaining set-up and starting times of less than 2 minutes to fire 6 rounds and leave the position. firing, allowing to avoid possible fire from counter-battery.
This combination of capabilities allowed the French artillerymen deployed in Iraq against the Islamic State to implement original strategies, such as Artillery Raids, CAESAR guns penetrating at high speed into enemy territory from several tens of kilometers in order to be able to strike. important targets, before always returning at high speed, without the adversary having been able to react. If the CAESAR 6 × 6 version, devoid of armor, compensates for the lack of protection by this great mobility, Nexter has also developed a so-called "heavy" version, a CAESAR mounted on an 8 × 8 frame and cut for High Intensity. , by offering a protected living area to the crew, and automatic loading allowing installation in a risky environment, version adopted by Denmark as well as the Czech Republic.
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