Nexter, part of the KNDS group, has signed a contract at the IDEX 2017 show being held this week in Abu Dhabi for the sale to Indonesia of 18 more CAESAR self-propelled howitzer systems. The contract follows an initial one signed in 2012 for 36 CAESARs.
In addition to its artillery system, Nexter will also supply its FINDART fire control system, CAESAR training simulators and more than 50 auxiliary battalion vehicles assembled in Indonesia by its local partner PT Pindad.
The CAESAR (Camion Equipé d’un Système d’ARtillerie) 18 tonnes, 10m long, 2.55m wide, and 3.7m high has a 155mm/52 cal. gun which can fire six shots a minute at a maximum range of 42kms using ERFB (Extended Range, Full Bore) munitions and at more than 55kms using rocket shells.
It can carry 18 complete rounds which it charges semi-automatically but aiming and re-aiming is totally automatic.
It comes in three 6×6 versions, mounted according to customer preference on a Mercedes Unimog, Renault Trucks, or Ashoka-Leyland chassis. Neither Nexter nor Indonesia have indicated for the time being which of the three has been chosen for this new order.
The cabin can optionally be armoured to STANAG 4569 norms: ballistic level 3 (12.7mm and 7.62mm perforating), mines 3a (8kg under wheel) and 2b (6kg under hull), IED (50kg at 5m) and artillery (155mm shells at 5m).
This contract brings to more than 290 the number of CAESARs ordered thus far by France, Indonesia, Thailand and a Middle Eastern client. Having been deployed by the French Army in Afghanistan and Mali, the CAESAR is combat-proven.
A new version of CAESAR was unveiled last June at the Eurosatory land and air-land show in Paris. This 30 tonne 8×8 can carry 30 rounds automatically charged with a newly designed system. It is not clear whether the version sold this week to Indonesia is this one or not.