July 26, 2006:
Saudi Arabia is buying 76 Caesar, truck mounted 155mm artillery systems from France. Each system costs $5.5 million. The 17 ton armored truck protects the six man crew from shell fragments and rifle fire. The system has a top speed of 100 kilometers an hour on roads, and can halt, and be ready for firing within 60 seconds. It only takes 30 seconds to be moving again after firing. The fire control system uses GPS and inertial guidance, thus enabling the Caesar to use "shoot and scoot" tactics to avoid counter-battery fire. The gun is NATO standard, and can fire three rounds in 15 seconds, or six per minute for extended periods. Caesar was designed with rapid reaction forces in mind. The vehicle can be moved by C-130 aircraft. Caesar began development during the 1990s, with the first production model appearing in 2002, and the French army making the first order, for 72 systems, in 2004.