The French group Nexter unveiled today a lighter version of its truck-mounted howitzer CAESAR at the Defexpo defense exhibition in New Delhi. Nexter has entered in partnership with two Indian companies – Larsen & Toubro, and Ashok Leyland which supplied the Super Stallion truck chassis for the CAESAR.
Larsen & Toubro will be the team leader in India, presenting the group’s response to the Mounted Gun System (MGS) program. The company will also provide the integration of howitzer the Indian Army will select for the MGS. Both groups are actively cooperating on other artillery programs for the Indian Army, including the Towed Gun System (TGS), and M46 Up-gunning programs.
The CAESAR artillery system is already in service in the French, Saudi Arabian and Thai armies. Indonesia has also selected the French mobile gun and Denmark is considering the system as well. As a rapid deployed system CAESAR has a proven operational, combat track record in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Mali where it has been deployed by the French Army.
The CAESAR MGS was originally mounted on a Renault truck, but later the system was modified to fit other chassis according to the customer’s request. In 2012 Nexter demonstrated the system on a Mercedes-Unimog truck, designed to address the Saudi requirement. Mounting the gun on the Super Stallion offers a third choice, bringing Indian interests in mind. The main advantage of the CAESAR is its light weight, enabling effective air and land mobility. The vehicle maintains a road speed of more than 80 km/h and can travel more than 600km without refuelling. It is operated by a crew of four or five.