2017 has begun well for Nexter Systems which has just signed a second export contract for its CAESAR 155mm self-propelled cannon in the space of a month. Following on the heels of an Indonesian order for 18 additional systems, Denmark will procure 15 CAESARs to replace the 32 M109A3 Paladins in service since 1965. “It is an historic day for the army. Our firepower is back,” Major General Hans Christian Mathiesen, Chief of Staff of the Danish Army, said yesterday.
This contract, whose value was not disclosed, also includes an option for the delivery of six additional systems.
It is actually a double victory for the French systems integrator, as this is also the first export contract for the new “high intensity” version of CAESAR unveiled in September 2015 at DSEI in London.
The variant selected by Denmark is based on an 8×8 Tatra T-815 chassis allowing for a higher load, necessary because its capacity to transport ammunition is practically doubled (30 shells instead of 18 6×6 version). It also offers better protection for the crew, thanks to an armoured cabin offering level 2A or 2B protection. The system can be equipped with a 12.7mm remotely operated turret, an anti-IED system and additional fuel tanks. Weighing in at 30 tonnes, this variant is air-transportable by A400M.
Once in service with the 1st Danish Army Artillery Battalion, these 15 CAESARs will represent the bulk of the country’s strike force as Denmark decided in 2008 to get rid of its 12 M270A1 Multiple rocket launcher systems.
Nexter and its CAESAR, were facing off in the final phase of this competition, launched by Denmark in November 2015, against Elbit Systems offering its ATMOS, and Korea’s Hanwa Techwin with its K9 Thunder.