Artillery: June 13, 2002


The US Army's new medium brigades want to buy the French Caesar howitzer, but the Pentagon has shut down any consideration of the idea and has banned key artillery officers from speaking on the issue. Caesar is basically a 155mm howitzer mounted on a truck (rather than towed behind it). It weighs only 18 tons and will fit into a C-130; it costs only $2 million each, and the French can provide enough to outfit all three medium brigades (48 guns) by 2005. The towed XM177 howitzer (the weapon selected for the medium brigades) won't be ready until 2005, won't cost much less, and cannot be towed as fast as Caesar can drive.--Stephen V Cole


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