Tatra has confirmed that it will supply 8×8 T-8 truck chassis for the Nexter CAESAR 155 mm/52-calibre self-propelled howitzers that have been ordered by Denmark.
The Tatra-based 8×8 version of CAESAR was unveiled by Nexter in September 2015. (Christopher F Foss)
Denmark’s defence minister announced the selection on 14 March, saying Nexter had won the tender to supply 15 CAESARs. Jeppe Reng, a spokesman at the Danish Ministry of Defence (FMN), told Jane’s the DKK300 million (USD43.6 million) contract also includes an option for an additional five and that deliveries are scheduled to commence in 2020.
The CAESARs will replace the US-built M109A3 howitzers currently in service with the Danish Army.
Reng said the FMN had not specifically requested that the CAESAR be mounted on the Tatra chassis, but Nexter had offered this configuration to meet its requirement. He added that the CAESAR was selected over the Elbit ATMOS system in the final round of testing.
“Nexter Systems offered the CAESAR 8×8 Tatra as their artillery system candidate,” he said. “[It] was deemed the most advantageous in terms of technical requirements, acquisition costs, and life cycle costs.”
The use of the 8×8 chassis will enable the Danish CAESARs to carry a heavier payload than the 6×6 versions that are currently in service. They will be fitted with a new automated loading system and be able to carry 30 rounds of ammunition.
Tatra Trucks spokesperson Andrej Cirtek told journalists the Danish CAESARs will use the T-815 chassis configured with a Tatra eight-cylinder direct air-cooled engine coupled with a Tatra-Norgren semi-automatic transmission offering a full-time 8×8 capability. It will have a pneumatic suspension system for all four axles, which Cirtek said is unique for a vehicle of this weigh class.