Against all logic, the new light armored vehicle of the Army will be designed in European cooperation

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The replacement of Light Armored Vehicles, or LAVs, is today at the top of the list of programs to be launched urgently for the French Army. Designed in the 80s by the Panhard General Defense company (integrated into Arquus when the brand was created in 2018), the VBL has been part of all French engagements since its entry into service in 1990. Despite its undeniable qualities, particularly in terms of mobility and scalability, the vehicle having been available in 13 versions including 7 in service in the French armies, it now marks the weight of the years in the face of tougher commitments, but also in the face of Improvised Explosive Devices used by Islamist fighters in Mali For example. 5 French soldiers lost their lives in 2020 and 2021 aboard LAVs destroyed by an IED. In addition, the vehicle is not suitable for integrating the new cooperative engagement equipment of the SCORPION program at the heart of the evolution of the Army.

To replace it, the French General Staff prepared to launch the VBAE program, for Armored Engagement Support Vehicle, as its name indicates an armored (light) vehicle integrated into this SCORPION information bubble, and providing strong added value through its mobility to recognize and identify critical battlefield information. Initially, the program was to be launched during the next Military Programming Law in 2026, but the needs of the Army are so urgent, in particular to be able to constitute units ready for engagement as quickly as possible. of High Intensity, that this has been partly integrated into the current LPM, to the detriment of part of the deliveries of VBMR Griffon, Serval and EBRC Jaguar, so as to free up the required budgetary and industrial capacities.

Arquus TDAY AtelierDynamique 24052019 009 Analyzes Defense | Defense industrial subcontracting chain | Construction of armored vehicles
The Scarabée d'arquas offers very high-level performance which would perfectly benefit front-line units intended for high-intensity Army engagements.

What's more, two French manufacturers, Arquus and Thales, have anticipated for several years the ongoing developments and the need that is pressing the Army today. the Franco-Swedish Arquus thus developed the Scarab, a high-end light armored vehicle derived from the Combat Reconnaissance Armored Buggy, or CRAB, program, which caused a sensation during the 2012 Eurosatory show. With an empty mass of 7 tonnes for a combat mass of 9 tonnes, the Scarabée integrates all the capabilities necessary for cooperative engagement, as well as extraordinary mobility with a power-to-weight ratio of 38 HP per ton. Thales, for its part, developed the Hawkei, an armored vehicle weighing 7 tonnes empty and 10 tonnes maximum in combat, initially designed for the Australian Armed Forces which ordered 1.100 examples.

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However, the Ministry of the Armed Forces and the DGA have given priority to European cooperation in this matter, by launching the program in 2020. European Future Highly Mobile Augmented Armored Systems , or FAMOUS, a clearly far-fetched acronym for a program that is no less so. The objective of FAMOUS is to develop the technological bricks necessary for the VBAE program in a cooperation bringing together the French Nexter, its partner within KNDS the German Krauss Maffei Wegman, the Finnish Patria and the Belgian John Cockerill Defense, as well as 15 other European manufacturers, so as to “ optimize synergies, standardization and interoperability in the field of armored land vehicles » according to Joel Barre. By doing so, the program is integrated into the European EDIDP financing system.

Hawkei Thales Defense Analysis | Defense industrial subcontracting chain | Construction of armored vehicles
More robust and more economical, the Thales Hawkei would, for its part, meet the needs of Army support units, in a mix which would in fact have very high added value, particularly for export.

LOGO meta defense 70 Analyzes Defense | Defense industrial subcontracting chain | Construction of armored vehicles

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