The Lithuanian Minister of Defense, Arvydas Anuauskas, visited France on December 29, 2022, to meet with Sebastien Lecorn, France’s Minister of Armed Forces.
A. Anuauskas and S. Lecorn have an agenda to talk about: getting the Caesar Mark II self-propelled howitzers on wheels, bilateral cooperation, helping Ukraine, and other important security and defense issues.
Minister Arvydas Anuauskas met with Sebastien Lecorn in Paris to confirm the Caesar Mark II acquisition agreement and discuss critical security issues in their region.
France is an important ally of Lithuania in security and defense. The French Air Force is for the first time conducting its ninth rotation of the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic states with Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft, its most powerful air asset.
The French military is very involved in NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in the Baltic states, where they train with Lithuanian troops.
Lithuania & France are strengthening defence relations: we are significantly increasing our cooperation in the artillery domain. 🇱🇹DefMin @a_anusauskas met w/ 🇫🇷DefMin @SebLecornu to confirm the agreement of Caesar Mark II acquisition & discuss key security issues in our region. pic.twitter.com/Jdx7ajAQ5z
— Lithuanian MOD 🇱🇹 (@Lithuanian_MoD) December 29, 2022
The Caesar 6×6 Mark II Program
On February 19, 2022, the French Direction générale de l’armement (DGA), the program’s prime contractor, awarded Nexter Group the contract for the development of the CAESAR 6X6 Mark II new generation (NG) artillery system.
The French Direction générale de l’armement (DGA), the program’s prime contractor, awarded the contract for the creation of the CAESAR 6X6 Mark II new generation (NG) artillery system to Nexter Company on February 19, 2022.
The CAESAR 6X6 Mark II will go into production after a four-year initial development and qualification phase, according to the contract.
The DGA will have two options in 2024: either to start producing 109 new CAESAR 6X6 Mark II or to start producing 33 new CAESAR 6X6 Mark II in addition to retrofitting the 76 CAESARs already in service.
Thus, by 2031, the artillery regiments of the French army will receive 109 CAESAR 6X6 Mark IIs. A two-year fixed-price support period for the future artillery systems is also included in the contract.
The main improvements concern crew protection and mobility. To achieve this, Nexter is integrating a level-2 mine and a ballistic armored cabin that is resistant to small-caliber firearms and IEDs.
Arquus has also completely redesigned the vehicle’s mobility. The CAESAR 6X6 Mark II has a new engine (460 HP as opposed to the previous 215 HP), a new automatic gearbox, and a new chassis.
The Caesar 6X6 Mark II is equipped with the most recent fire control software, and the cab is designed to support the new CONTACT radio.
The CAESAR 6×6 Mark II can also be equipped with a Thales BARAGE jammer. Customers in the export market will be able to purchase the CAESAR 6X6 Mark II.
*Cover image: Caesar Artillery System. (Nexter Group)