Czech Republic Officially Orders 52 CAESAR 8x8 from Nexter
(Source: Nexter; issued Sept. 30, 2021)
The Czech Army’s Caesar self-propelled guns will be mounted on Czech 8x8 trucks provided by Tatra, and 48 will be locally assembled by Czech companies, which also will share in their support. (Nexter photo)
PRAGUE, Czech Republic --- Today, Czech Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar signed a contract for the acquisition of 52 CAESAR self-propelled artillery guns in an eight-wheel drive (8x8) version, in the presence of French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly and Nicolas Chamussy, CEO of Nexter Group.

With this major order, the Czech Republic becomes the third European customer and the seventh user of the CAESAR in the world. With more than 350 units ordered in France and abroad, the CAESAR is the benchmark in the wheeled artillery systems market.

A consolidating partnership

After the sale of 19 CAESAR 8x8 to Denmark mounted on Tatra Trucks chassis and the supply of 6x6 TITUS armored vehicles to the Czech Army, produced under license with the Czechoslovak Group (CSG), cooperation between Nexter and the Czech defense industry is developing around a large-scale artillery program.

In addition to Tatra Trucks, who supplies the chassis, the contract provides for the involvement of several CSG Group companies: Excalibur Army is in charge of assembling the CAESARs intended for the Czech Republic, Tatra Defence Vehicles produces the armored cabin locally, and RETIA integrates the communication resources and equipment linked to the artillery fire control system.

The partnership also covers ammunition, mainly with the companies STV and Explosia, to enable local supply of conventional shells and modular charges. Special ammunition such as complex ammunition or ammunition with insensitive explosives will be supplied by Nexter's ammunition unit.

A modern, proven and robust artillery system

CAESAR is a 155mm (52 caliber) self-propelled gun in service since 2008. This weapon system, designed by Nexter, is the main armament of the French army's artillery regiments as well as many foreign artilleries that have chosen this robust, high-performance gun.

Designed for direct support of troops in contact or support in depth, it has proven its worth in numerous external operations. Its high performance makes Nexter an undisputed reference in the field of land artillery.

By selecting the CAESAR eight-wheel drive (8x8) version, the Czech Ministry of Defense has chosen a system that is perfectly suited to high-intensity combat. On the one hand, this version of the CAESAR carries 36 shells, which gives it a high ammunition autonomy. On the other hand, resupply is carried out at a high rate (three minutes compared with ten for its fully automated competitors).

Thanks to its low mass, the CAESAR 8x8 has a lower fuel consumption than heavy tracked howitzers, which is a major advantage in high-intensity combat configurations where the fluidity of logistical supplies is threatened by long-range artillery. Lastly, the CAESAR is recognized for its excellent battery in and out of action performance.

Nicolas Chamussy, CEO of Nexter Group, praises the Czech Republic's decision to acquire an “innovative, proven artillery system known for its high reliability. Following the TITUS program launched in 2019, this additional acquisition is a testament to the quality of the partnership between Nexter and the Czech defense industry. Thanks to this new success, Nexter is once again contributing to the consolidation of the European defense industrial base”.

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The Minister of Defense Informed the Government about the Acquisition of the 155 mm Caesar Artillery System
(Source: Czech Ministry of Defense; issued Sept. 13, 2021)
(Unofficial translation by Dfense-Aerospace.com)
On Monday, September 13, the Minister of Defense Lubomír Metnar informed the Government of the Czech Republic about the material concerning the acquisition of the modern artillery system Caesar from the French state company Nexter Systems. He in the armament of the Army of the Czech Republic will replace the technically and morally obsolete howitzers DANA original Czechoslovakia. production from the 70s.

Based on the prepared contractual relationship, a total of 52 new self-propelled Caesar 155 mm NATO howitzers will be introduced into the ACR's armaments in the years 2024 to 2026.

The first four cannons for the Czech Army will be assembled in France, while the remaining 48 pieces will be assembled by Czech companies directly in the Czech Republic. Heavy Tatra wheeled chassis with the 8x8 axle emblem and armored cab will be delivered to the company of the Czech holding CSG, which will also ensure its own assembly of howitzers in the Czech Republic.

"The participation of Czech industry in the total volume of supplies has been crucial for us from the very beginning. And it will be fulfilled in full at 40% of the contract value. This means a high level of security of supply for the state and the army, and great new opportunities for the domestic industry, "said Minister Metnar.

The Ministry of Defense will pay a total of CZK 7.04 billion excluding VAT, ie CZK 8.5 billion (333.3 million euros at today’s exchange rate—Ed.) including VAT, for 52 new cannon howitzers. During the negotiations, the Ministry thus reached an agreement on the final price, which is approximately CZK 1 billion lower than the initial offer of the supplier.

At the same time, the Ministry of Defense acquires a complete artillery system within one contract with one supplier and to the necessary extent according to the specific specifications and needs of the Czech Armed Forces. This will allow the army to introduce new technology into the armament very quickly and thus quickly achieve full operational capabilities.

The agreed price was assessed by a forensic expert. It is final and includes the costs of necessary control and military tests, initial supplies of ammunition and spare parts kits, delivery of a training simulator system, training of ACR specialists and instructors or an above-standard two-year warranty, as well as incidental costs related to the introduction of any new equipment.

The acquisition was approved by the MO College on Monday, September 1, 2021. The signing of the agreement between the Ministry of Defense and Nexter Systems is expected to take place during the month of September. The Ministry will present more detailed information on the key project of modernization of the ACR artillery on the date of signing the contract.

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