Belgian Army has notified a contract with the French defense procurement agency, DGA (Direction générale de l’armement), for the acquisition of 442 armored vehicles – 382 VBMR Griffon multi-role armored vehicles and 60 EBRC Jaguar armored reconnaissance and combat vehicles.
The procurement is being conducted as part of the strategic partnership between the countries in the field of land mobility under the CaMo (Capacité Motorisée, Motorized Capacity) program. The armored vehicles being procured by Belgium will be identical to those ordered by France, under the SCORPION program, which maximizes cooperation and allows interoperability between the two Armed Forces.
The new vehicles will be delivered to Belgian Land component between 2025 and 2030 and will replace its Piranha IIIC armored personnel carriers, Pandur I reconnaissance vehicles and Dingo 2 infantry mobility vehicles.
The final assembly of the Belgian VBMR Griffons will be done by CMI Defense in Belgium and that the turret of the EBRC Jaguars will be produced by FN Herstal. MECAR, the Belgian Nexter Group subsidiary, will be in charge of producing part of the ammunition.
The VBMR Griffon multi-role armored vehicle (Véhicule Blindé Multi-Rôle, VBMR) and the EBRC Jaguar reconnaissance and combat vehicle (Engin Blindé de Reconnaissance et de Combat, EBRC) were originally developed for the French Army under the Scorpion program.
The vehicles are based on a 6×6 commercial all-terrain truck chassis and use standard commercial truck engines. They share 70% of its components and are being developed by a consortium of Nexter, a company of Franco-German KNDS Group (KMW+Nexter Defense Systems); Thales; and Renault Trucks Defense.
VBMR Griffon can carry up to eight infantry soldiers and will replace French Army’s ageing fleet of VAB (Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé) 4×4 armoured personnel carriers, which have been operational since 1976.
The Griffon is equipped with a remote weapons station that can be armed with either a 12.7mm or 7.62mm machine gun, or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. The addition of two MMP anti-tank guided missiles is optional. Eight launchers for smoke grenades are fitted to the remote weapon station, which also includes a acoustic sniper locating system.
EBRC Jaguar, as an armored reconnaissance and combat vehicle, will replace the French Army’s VCAC (Véhicule de Combat Anti-Char, HOT missiles equipped VABs), AMX 10 RC and ERC 90 Sagaie reconnaissance and fire support vehicles.
The Jaguar’s primary weapon, mounted in a two-man turret, is the CTA International CT40 cannon firing 40mm case telescoped ammunition with a rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute and a maximum range of 1,500 meters. Two MMP anti-tank guided missiles are fitted to the turret launcher with two reloads stored inside. It also carries a 7.62mm remote controlled machine gun mounted on top of the turret and eight smoke grenades.