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Czech Republic orders CAESAR SPHs

Czech Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar signed the contract for 52 CAESAR 8×8 SPHs for the Czech Army on 30 September. (Nexter Systems)

Czech Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar signed the contract for 52 CAESAR self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) in Prague on 30 September in the presence of French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly and Nexter CEO Nicolas Chamussy.

Nexter said in a press release on 30 September that the 8×8 SPHs will be produced under licence by the Czechoslovak Group (CSG), with Tatra Trucks supplying the chassis, Excalibur Army assembling the CAESARs, Tatra Defence Vehicles producing the armoured cabin, and Retia integrating the communication systems linked to the artillery fire-control system. Czech companies STV and Explosia will supply conventional shells and modular charges, with Nexter Munitions providing special ammunition such as complex ammunition or with insensitive explosives.

The CAESAR mounted on an 8×8 Tatra Trucks chassis, like the 19 being delivered to Denmark, carry 36 shells, which can be resupplied in three minutes, and weighs less and therefore has lower fuel consumption than tracked SPHs, according to Nexter.

Chamussy said, “Following the Titus programme launched in 2019 [to supply armoured vehicles to the Czech Army], this additional acquisition is a testament to the quality of the partnership between Nexter and the Czech defence industry,” adding, “Nexter is once again contributing to the consolidation of the European defence industrial base.”

Parly tweeted on 30 September before the contract signing, that the Franco-Czech “defence relationship is increasingly solid: the commitment of Czech special forces in the Takuba force in the Sahel (European special forces) testifies to this”.

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