KNDS eyes Malaysian opportunity for CAESAR 155mm SPH

CAESAR 155mm howitzer
The dilemma of achieving strategic air mobility to allow artillery to get to an area of operations, yet to maintain high ground mobility once deployed on the battlefield was addressed by the CAESAR 155mm howitzer. (Nexter)

European defence consortium KNDS, which combines France’s Nexter and Germany’s KMW, is looking to expand its footprint in Malaysia via its local partner Advanced Defence Systems Sdn Bhd (ADSSB) by offering its CAESAR (CAmion Équipé d’un Système d’ARtillerie) 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer (SPH), the company announced.

KNDS stated that it hoped to expand on its earlier success in supplying the Malaysian Army with 18 Nexter 105mm LG 1 MKIII howitzers.

“The achievement of our industrial partnership initiated in 2018 with the assembly and delivery of 18 units of 105mm LG 1 MKIII howitzers to the Malaysian army reflects our mutual commitment to enhancing the nation’s defence capabilities but also signifies the excellence of local skills in the defence industry,” the company said in a 6 May statement.

KNDS added that it is committed to advance Malaysia’s defence industry and support national security initiatives with ADSSB by enabling assembly and integration of the CAESAR 155mm SPH at the industrial facilities of ADSSB in Segamat, Johor.

“The installation of the CAESAR not only provides additional strength to the Malaysian Army but also contributes to the local economy by creating job opportunities and enhancing expertise in the field of armaments,” KNDS asserted., noting that both companies will also address selected export markets for the LG1 MKIII howitzer, creating additional value to the Malaysian industrial ecosystem.

The CAESAR SPH can be based on the 6×6 Arquus Sherpa 5/Armis chassis, the 6×6 Mercedes-Benz Unimog chassis, or a 8×8 Tatra 815-7 chassis. It is also understood to be able to engage targets at distances of up to 32km with standard ammunition types, and up to 40km and 70km with base-bleed and rocket-assisted projectiles, respectively.

The CAESAR SPH is nominally operated by five personnel, although it can still be functional with three personnel. Depending on the vehicle used, the system can carry between 18 and 36 NATO-standard projectiles. It is also equipped with a semi-automatic loading system that enables a maximum rate of fire of six rounds per minute.

The system was originally developed by GIAT/Nexter Systems and first entered French Army service in 2003 with another nine countries joining the CAESAR user group since.

by Jr Ng