Developed as a private venture by France’s Giat Industries (now Nexter), the CAESAR system is based around a light 155mm/52 caliber howitzer, mounted on a 6×6 truck chassis fitted with an armored cab. The air-portable mobile howitzer system has been sold to France and Thailand, but its export history had not been as successful as Giat had hoped – and it has a very interesting history in the USA.
In July 2006, Giat Industries announced an export contract for 76 of its CAESAR artillery systems, mounted on a Soframe-Unimog truck chasis. While Giat would not confirm the customer, Agence-France Presse reported that they were destined for Saudi Arabia. This certainly fit expectations in the wake of the July 21/06 defense cooperation agreement it signed with France.
Since then, a number of French deals to Saudi Arabia have fallen through or been delayed indefinitely. A recent Jane’s report adds credence to the AFP reports, however, and indicates that the Caesar sale is moving ahead.