The Hard Kill Diamant system could protect French armor from 2026

The distribution of boards from the DGA seems to indicate that the hard kill Diamant system of the Prometeus active protection system from Thales, would be close to beginning its tests on board the vehicles of the Scorpion bubble, with entry into service which could take place from 2026.

If the subject deserves official confirmation, it would represent, without the slightest doubt, a major and rapid advance for the armored vehicles of the Army, in order to increase their survivability, in particular in the event of an engagement of high intensity.

If the armored vehicles forming the SCORPION bubble within the French, and soon Belgian, Army are both modern, efficient and very mobile, many specialists on the subject, including those primarily concerned, the military, regretted that they are not further protected, particularly in the event of high-intensity engagement.

More specifically, it was frequently reported that the benefit of adding a hard kill protection system, designed to intercept missiles and rockets, with the Diamant active protection system (APS), which aims to prevent targeting the vehicle using decoys, smoke screens and jammers, and which is already in service aboard the Griffon, Jaguar and Serval.

If the design of such a system was mentioned in the Military Programming Law 2024-2030, little information had been communicated on this subject by the DGA as well as by the Armed Forces or manufacturers. Distribution of some PowerPoint boards, from a DGA briefing, around the development of the Thales Hard-Kill Diamant system, within the APS Prometeus, therefore constitutes a real event in the microcosm of land weapons.

The Thales Hard Kill Diamant system developed for the APS PROMETEUS since 2019

Indeed, the four boards published on Twitter seem to indicate that work around the DIAMANT hard kill system, initially developed by Thales in the early 2010s, would have resumed in 2019. The objective presented would be to integrate this hard kill system into the APS Diamant, to protect the new Scorpion armored vehicles, EBRC Jaguar, VBMR Griffon and VBMRL Serval, but also VBCI and Leclerc tanks.

Prometeus Diamond schedule and goals
According to this schedule, the integration of Diamond into the Prometeus system on Griffon, Serval, Jaguar, VBCI and Leclerc (and others, if we are to believe the ellipsis), could begin as early as 2024, while the end tests would take place at the end of 2025. In fact, we can hope for operational integration of the first systems from 2026.

The development of the hard kill system, and its integration on a Griffon armored vehicle and a Jaguar, for demonstration purposes, must last until the end of 2025. More surprisingly, the next phase, which aims to integrate the system on the armored vehicles of the Army of the Scorpion bubble, is presented as having started at the end of 2023, and will be continued until 2030 (end of the diagram), and probably beyond. A photo of a VBMR Griffon equipped with the APS Prometeus illustrating another board, also seems to confirm that this schedule would be respected and credible.

The Diamant system is described in the other plates distributed. This was designed according to particularly ambitious Army specifications, requiring 360° protection of vehicles, including against plunging threats. The risk for the vehicles and personnel surrounding the armored vehicle which would implement the system must be reduced as much as possible, the stated objective being to achieve zero risk.

A lightweight Hard Kill active protection system designed for high intensity

In addition, the elements of the system must not prevent or hinder the proper functioning of the armored vehicle and its systems, and not have a negative effect on its discretion or mobility, which requires a compact, lightweight device with low spatial footprint, and reduced power consumption.

Remember, however, that when the Diamond's radar is activated, it will in fact reduce the electromagnetic discretion of the armored vehicle, by acting as an electromagnetic beacon on the battlefield. The objective here is certainly not to degrade it when the system is off or on standby.

Visuals of the Prometeus team griffin
This board shows several visuals of a Griffon VBMR equipped with the Prometeus APS (Active Protection System) integrating the diamond hard-kill system

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