Czech Army to receive 10 more CAESAR self-propelled howitzers
On Wednesday, 14 December 2022, Lubor Koudelka, Deputy for the Management of the Armaments and Acquisitions Section of the Ministry of Defence, and Olivier Travert, Vice President of the French state-owned company NEXTER SYSTEMS, signed an amendment to the contract for the delivery of the modern CAESAR self-propelled gun. By signing the addendum, the Army will receive 10 more guns on top of the 52 already ordered. The value of the addendum totals CZK 1.77 billion including VAT; the MoD plans to spend CZK 10.3 billion including VAT on all 62 howitzers. The howitzers should be delivered to the Army by the end of 2026.
The guns, with a NATO-standard 155 mm calibre, will replace the DANA howitzers, which have been in service for more than 40 years and are beyond their technical service life. The DANA howitzers use the NATO-incompatible 152 mm calibre and have only half the range of the CAESAR howitzers (the CAESAR cannon has a range of up to 40 km).
By concluding the amendment, the ministry responded not only to the deteriorated security situation in the world and the need to accelerate modernisation projects in this context, but above all to the army's requirement to supplement the number of guns it acquires to a number that ensures the fulfilment of all its tasks, both in the defence of the Czech Republic's territory and in deployment abroad.
"By purchasing these guns, we are taking another step towards the much-needed modernisation of our army and reducing the internal debt we still have towards the army. I am very pleased that by concluding the amendment we have also managed to reserve capacity for the Czech Republic in production lines that are hopelessly occupied for the next few years due to the war in Ukraine," said Defence Minister Jana Černochová on the signing of the agreement.
The unification of the calibre of the ammunition used is, according to the Chief of Artillery of the Czech Artillery, Col. Marcel Krenek is important for NATO joint operations. "A unified calibre would enable intensification of logistical support in the event of a conflict," Křenek said. He said self-propelled howitzers are one of the basic weapon systems of ground troops. "Despite their range, it remains the task of artillery units to support all-army units, but the ability to destroy targets deep in the enemy's lineup creates an unquestionable tactical advantage for us," he added. The correctness of the decision to choose the CAESAR gun is confirmed by the course of the conflict in Ukraine.
The signing of the amendment for the purchase of 10 more howitzers took place on the same day when the Government of the Czech Republic took note of the information of the Ministry of Defence on the plan to purchase ammunition for these guns with a total value of CZK 10.17 billion. The Czech company STV Group will ensure the deliveries between 2025 and 2029. Ensuring the supply of ammunition by a Czech manufacturer is an important part of the contract for the delivery of the guns.
The subject of the delivery will be five types of missiles in the number of 65,848 pieces, powder modules in the number of 283,680 pieces, ignition casing in the number of 76,860 pieces, and three types of fuses in the number of 65,848 pieces and 2,708 pieces of inert school ammunition and teaching cuts in the required configuration.