The EBMR consortium, consisting of Nexter, Arquus and Thales, delivered the 92nd VBMR Griffon multi-role armored vehicle to the French Army.
The milestone was reached less than six months after the delivery of the first batch of vehicles, which took place in July 2019. During that ceremony, Florence Parly, France’s Minister of the Armed Forces, announced that an additional 150 VBMR Griffon vehicles will be ordered, bringing the total to 1,872 units to be delivered to the Army by 2030.
According to the initial contract, a total of 92 vehicles were to be delivered to the Army in 2019. The delivery rates will now be increased so that have of the vehicles ordered are delivered to the Army by 2025.
VBMR Griffon is a multi-role armored vehicle (Véhicule Blindé Multi-Rôle, VBMR) being developed for the French Army under the EBMR Scorpion (Engin Blindé Multi-Rôle, Armoured Multi-roles Vehicles) program along with the EBRC Jaguar reconnaissance and combat vehicle (Engin Blindé de Reconnaissance et de Combat, EBRC).
The two vehicles share 70% of its components and are being developed by a consortium of Nexter, Thales, and Renault Trucks Defense (now Arquus) in partnership with French defense procurement agency DGA (Direction générale de l’armement, “Directorate General of Armaments”).
VBMR Griffon is based on a 6×6 commercial all-terrain truck chassis and can carry up to eight infantry soldiers. It will replace the French Army’s aging fleet of VAB (Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé) 4×4 armored 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 an acoustic sniper localization system.
The vehicle has an overpressure system to maintain constant over-pressure in the troop compartment against chemical, biological and radiological threats. For service in hot climates, the Griffon is equipped with air conditioning.
Currently, six versions of the Griffon are planned, with four of these (Armored Personnel Carrier, Command Post, Ambulance, and Artillery Observer) ordered in the first tranche. Last year, Nexter and another company, Texelis was awarded a contract to deliver a 4×4 version of VBMR Griffon, called Lightweight VBMR, to the French Army.
Belgium has ordered 60 EBRC Jaguar and 382 VBMR Griffon armored vehicles. The new vehicles will replace the Belgian Army’s Piranha IIIC armored personnel carriers, Pandur I reconnaissance vehicles and Dingo 2 infantry mobility vehicles, and will enter service between 2025 and 2030.
Nexter acts as the representative of the grouping. The company is in charge of the development and production of the vehicle structure, including the armored hull, CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) and ballistic solutions, and the interior layout. The mechanically-welded structure of the aluminum cases offers, thanks to high-precision machining and robotic welding operations, the best protection performance to the military. Furthermore, Nexter has the responsibility of the vehicles’ assembly and the integrations in the Roanne industrial site. All the equipment and subsystems supplied by partners and contractors are integrated in this facility.
Arquus (formerly Renault Trucks Defense)
Arquus designs and produces the full driveline for the Griffon, including all parts that ensure the vehicle’s mobility. This driveline redefines the mobility standards of armored troop transport vehicles and grants the GRIFFON new generation all-terrain capabilities.
Arquus also designs and produces the Griffon’s remote-controlled self-defense systems, which are also equipped on other vehicles of the Scorpion program. These remote-controlled weapon systems (RCWS) benefit from the most advanced technologies: full HD video, Augmented Reality (AR) tactical situation view and extended connectivity.
Thales brings on board the vehicles all the technologies enabling the use of data and information for the collaborative engagement of the platforms. This includes onboard vetronics, which are based on computers and link all navigation, protection, observation and communication services. The on-board vetronics allows the management and merging of all data within the vehicle. The CONTACT radio software ensures the networking of forces by providing real-time communication capabilities.