The French defense procurement agency (DGA) took delivery of the 2000th VT4 4×4 tactical vehicle on Dec. 16, French Ministry of Armed Forces said in a statement, Jan 27.
The VT4s (also called ACMAT VLTP-NP) are being procured from Arquus (formerly Renault Trucks Defense) under the VLTP (Vehicule Leger Tactique Polyvalent Non Protege, or Non-Protected Light Multirole Tactical Vehicle) program. The vehicles are gradually replacing the light all-terrain P4 vehicles in French military service since the 1980s.
The 2019-2025 military programming law, which emphasizes the renewal of military resources within the French Armed Forces, provides for a fleet of 4,380 VT4 vehicles, of which 3,980 are for the French Army and the rest being intended for the French Air and Space Force (Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace), the French Navy (Marine nationale), and SEO (Service de l’énergie opérationnelle, “Operational Energy Service”) and SIMu (Service interarmées des munitions, “Joint Munitions Service”.
The 100 Standard 2 VT4 vehicles constituting the last batch were delivered on December 16, 2020 and are assigned to the Army, the French Navy and the Air Force. They are planned to be deployed overseas from 2021. The DGA (Direction générale de l’armement, “Directorate General of Armaments”) took delivery of 1,001 vehicles in 2020.
The VT4 is a 4×4 Ford Everest commercial sports utility vehicle (SUV) militarized by Arquus at its Saint-Nazaire factory. The adaptations include strengthening the off-road capability of the vehicle, pre-equipping it for the integration of radios and an operational communication system, and providing it with weapons racks and removable glass protection.
With a total permissible gross weight of less than 3.5 tonnes, the VT4 will be able to carry 4 soldiers equipped with FÉLIN (Fantassin à Équipement et Liaisons Intégrés, “Integrated Infantryman Equipment and Communications”) infantry combat systems and their equipment, or 5 soldiers without Feline system, on all types of terrains.
Standard 2, qualified in 2019, offers new functionalities in addition to those of standard 1, which notably make it possible to integrate information and communication systems and to be deployed on external theaters of operations. It is also designed to be air transportable, in order to give it an additional tactical mobility dimension. Most VT4s delivered to standard 1 will be upgraded by Arquus to standard 2 by 2023 at its Saint-Nazaire plant.
A typical role of the French VT4 vehicles will be the rapid intervention of light patrols for missions to secure the territory in particular for urgent interventions as part of Opération Sentinelle (Operation Sentinel) security missions and in stabilized external theaters of operations.