KNDS, the Amsterdam-based joint venture between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and French Nexter, announced on Wednesday that the Belgian Council of Ministers confirmed the purchase of 19 CAESAR new generation (NG) artillery systems and 24 GRIFFON MEPAC mortar systems.
These 19 howitzers supplement the acquisition of 9 CAESAR NG, agreed upon in 2022 as part of the CaMo2 program, with deliveries scheduled for 2027.
Compared to its predecessor, the CAESAR NG is expected to feature a new chassis, a more powerful engine [460 hp], a Level 2 armored cabin, enhanced fire control software, the BARAGE countermeasure system, and a new CONTACT radio station.
As for the twenty-four Griffon MEPAC (Mounted Mortar for Fire Support) systems, they will replace MO-120-RT mortars and equip two batteries from two battalions of “MEPAC.” The Griffon MEPAC is equipped with the 2R2M 120mm semi-automatic mortar system.
The 2R2M is a rifled recoiled mounted mortar system developed by the French company Thales. The 120mm mortar system is mounted in the rear of the Griffon and fires through power-operated roof hatches. In the road position, the 120mm mortar system is stored inside the vehicle. Inside the vehicle, the turntable-mounted mortar can be traversed through 360°, with an elevation of 40–85° under hydraulic power.