Artillery: December 12, 1999


The French Army has agree to buy a single battery of the new GIAT Industries CAESAR truck-mounted mobile artillery system. The gun, developed by GIAT as a private venture, has had a difficult time finding an export market, and having even one battery in service with the French Army should boost the sales potential at least somewhat. CAESAR is a truck-mounted gun, using a 52-caliber 155mm howitzer mounted on the back of a 6x6 UNIMOG U2450L truck. While technically self-propelled, it lacks the armor one normally expects from tracked armored guns. The advantage, of course, is weight, in that the truck-mounted unarmored weapon is only 15.8 tons and will fit into a C-130 Hercules, something that armored artillery cannot match. Modern technology means that CAESAR can enter or leave a firing position in under 60 seconds. CAESAR is actually longer ranged (42km) and more accurate than other French artillery, partly due to its on-board GPS system. While the French have not said what they plan to do with his battery of 155mm mobile guns, it presumably would be used to support the airborne units. --Stephen V Cole


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