In a strategic move to fortify its military capabilities, Belgium has approved the acquisition of 19 CAESAR NG (New Generation) 155mm self-propelled howitzers. This decision, based on the recommendation of Belgian Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder, marks a significant step towards modernizing the country’s artillery forces.
Strengthening Artillery Capabilities
The purchase of these additional CAESAR NG systems aims to bolster the Belgian Army’s artillery capabilities, filling gaps in indirect fire support. Currently equipped with 120mm mortars and towed 105mm cannons, the inclusion of the CAESAR NG will provide long-range precision artillery with substantial tactical and strategic mobility.
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Expanding the French-Belgian Defense Partnership
This procurement is part of Belgium’s broader initiative to modernize the motorized brigade of the ground component. The strategic partnership with France, known as CaMo (Motorized Capability), ensures that both nations operate using the same equipment and systems, fostering high interoperability and contributing to a more robust European defense.
CAESAR NG Advanced Technology and Interoperability
The CAESAR NG represents an advanced iteration of its predecessor, maintaining the powerful 155mm/52 caliber cannon while mounted on an enhanced 6X6 truck chassis. Notable technological enhancements include a robust 460 horsepower engine, a significant upgrade from the previous 260 horsepower engine, and an updated chassis designed by the French company ARQUUS.
Simultaneous Production for Belgium and France
In a move to ensure consistent interoperability, the production of the CAESAR NG for Belgium will proceed concurrently with that for the French forces. This collaborative approach between Nexter, the French firm responsible for the development, and the Belgian military underscores the commitment to efficiency and joint operational effectiveness.
Scheduled Delivery and Previous Acquisitions
Belgium’s commitment to modernization is further evidenced by the scheduled delivery of 9 CAESAR NG long-range precision artillery systems in 2027, as per the 2022 expansion of the partnership with France. These acquisitions represent a key component of the Belgian military’s efforts to stay at the forefront of defense technology.
With the approval of this CAESAR NG acquisition, Belgium is not only enhancing its military firepower but also fortifying its defense capabilities in collaboration with key European partners. The move aligns with contemporary defense strategies emphasizing mobility, precision, and interoperability. As these state-of-the-art artillery systems become integral to the Belgian Armed Forces, they signify a proactive response to evolving security challenges and a commitment to maintaining a strong and modern defense posture.