The Ministry of Defense of Czech Republic has begun negotiations with French firm Nexter to acquire 52 units of Caesar 155mm 8x8 self-propelled howitzers for CZK 5.95 billion ($249.2 million).
A formal contract is expected to be signed by the end of this year. There is an option to buy 12 additional howitzers.
Deliveries will begin in 2022, and will to be completed by 2026. The deal includes provision of ammunition, two simulators, a service kit, and training of operators and staff.
The new French-built howitzers will replace the 13th Artillery Regiment’s four-decades old 152m SpGH DANA wheeled self-propelled howitzers. The MoD wanted an artillery system that has a range of 55km, and uses the unique Tatra chassis- having a central load-carrying tube and axles with independently suspended swinging half-axles bolted together into a single unit.
Main armament of the Nexter Caesar 8x8 consists of one 155mm/52 caliber gun which is similar to the cannon mounted on the 6x6 Caesar. The Caesar 8x8 as a maximum rate of fire of 6 rounds/min. It can carry a total of 30 155mm projectiles and charges, the 155mm cannon has a powered elevation of maximum +72° and traverse 30° left/right and a large hydraulically operated spade is lowered at the rear to provide a more stable firing platform.
The Caesar artillery system has a firing range of around 40km with standard ammunition and 55km using VLAP (Very Long-range Artillery Projectile) rounds. Roof of the truck cab can be fitted with a remotely operated weapon station armed with a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm gun.