KUALA LUMPUR: THE Nexter Systems Caesar 155mm truck-mounted self-propelled howitzer returns to Malaysia after some 20 year absence. This time around at DSA 2016, the Caesar 155m 52 calibre howitzer gun is mounted on the Renault Defense Sherpa 5 up-armoured truck.
Apart from the Caesar, Nexter Systems is also displaying its LG1 105mm light howitzer at DSA and its host of ammunition from 20mm shells to 155mm calibre rounds. The LG1 has a maximum firing range of 19 km with extended rounds. It could also be deployed using the Nuri and the EC725 helicopters.
Today Nexter Systems signed a Letter of Intent for collaboration with Advanced Defence Systems Sdn Bhd (ADS) to promote, assembled and maintain the Caesar in Malaysia.
If contracted with the Malaysian Army, ADS will set up a Caesar assembly and maintenance facility while Nexter Systems will provide the required technology and know how to assemble, integrate and maintain the Caesar SPH systems.
According to ADS chairman Datuk Abdul Hadi Abdul Razak their offer was for the Army to purchase 20 Caesar SPH, initially. 18 will be part of an artillery regiment while the other two will be used for training purposes.
He said depending on the Army’s requirements they could also offer fire-control solutions mounted on the same Renault truck. The Army could choose the un-armoured variant of the Sherpa 5. “It will depend on the requirements of the Army”.
Abdul Hadi, a former Kor Artileri Di Raja commander, was involved in the initial testing of the Caesar when it was brought to Malaysia back in 1995. He said the KAD had identified the need for a SPH regiment back then but until now the requirement have yet to be fulfilled.
According to Abdul Hadi unlike a tracked SPH, the Caesar’s low weight, less than 18 tons in combat configuration, reduces both complexity and cost. Its strategic, operational and tactical mobility is superior to that of other systems, while matching the reactivity of the self–propelled guns and the light weight of the towed guns.
He also said the Caesar could easily be integrated into the Army’s C3I infrastructure easily. Furthermore, he pointed out that the truck mounted SPH could self-deployed to anywhere in the peninsular within hours of being alerted.
The Caesar is also transportable by air on both RMAF air-lifters, the C130 Hercules and the Airbus A400M unlike tracked howitzers.
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