Nexter promotes CAESAR 8x8 155mm self-propelled howitzer for British army MFP program

French company NEXTER, alongside its partner Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), promotes its CAESAR 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer in 8x8 configuration for the Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) program of the British army at DSEI 2021, International Defense Exhibition in London, UK.

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Nexter KNDS CAESAR 155mm 8x8 wheeled self-propelled howitzer at DSEI 2021, International Defense Exhibition in London, UK. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The CAESAR 8x8 155mm self-propelled howitzer is one of the proposals for the Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) program of the British army. With the MFP program, the British Ministry of Defense would like to refresh the artillery capabilities of its land forces.

The UK is currently working towards approval of an outline business case for the program in the first quarter of 2022, with an eye towards a full operating capability of 116 guns in 2032. Initial operating capability for MFP is aimed at 18 guns in early 2029. The British MoD has already reviewed and analyzed responses to a request for information from the industry and has conducted an analysis of potential investment options.

Currently, the British army operates the AS90, a 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzer which was first introduced into service in the early 1990s. Initially, the British Army operated 179 systems, however by 2017, this had been reduced to 110, reflecting a lack of significant upgrades to the UK’s AS-90s. The system is currently scheduled to be retired in 2030.

With the CAESAR 8x8, the French company Nexter would like to offer one of the most modern artillery systems which is already in service with France, Indonesia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand and that will enter also in service with Denmark, Morocco, and the Czech Republic.

The CAESAR 6x6 has equipped the French army since 2008 and participated in France's main engagements abroad (Afghanistan, Lebanon, Mali, and Iraq). In Iraq in particular, Task Force Wagram supported the troops deployed on the ground against Daesh alongside American and Iraqi artillery units.

The Caesar 8x8 is an upgraded version of the 6x6 Caesar wheeled self-propelled howitzer using 155/52 caliber cannon. This artillery is designed and manufactured by the French Defense Company Nexter Systems. The Caesar 8x8 presented at DSEI is based on the Tatra T-815 8x8 chassis, but the Nexter 155mm artillery system can be fitted on other 8x8 truck chassis available on the military market manufactured by Renault trucks defense, Rheinmetall MAN military, and Sizu.

The main armament of the Nexter Caesar 8x8 consists of one 155mm/52 cal 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 has a firing range from 4.5 to 40 km with standard ammunition and 55 km using VLAP (Very Long-range Artillery Projectile) rounds. It can be also used against land targets with a maximum range of 2 km.