Florence Parly, Minister of the French Armed Forces, recently confirmed the supply of Lightweight Multi-Role Armoured Vehicles (VBMR) for the French Army. The contract went through the French procurement agency (DGA) in the presence of Joël Barre, National Armament Director (NAD), and Bernard Barrera, Major General of French Land Forces.
The VBMR is a 15t 4x4 armoured vehicle that can carry up to 10 soldiers equipped with Safran's FELIN system. It will integrate various equipment common to SCORPION vehicles, in particular the electronic heart of the vehicle, and there will be a remotely operated machine gun.
These 4-wheel drive vehicles are designed for use by the French Army's intelligence and reconnaissance units as part of the SCORPION programme. With their multi-role capability, they are equipped with the SCORPION information and communication systems (SICS) and come in several variants: troop transport, command post, artillery fire control, engineering, ambulance, and ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance), tactical communication hub, etc.
The radio used will be the Thales CONTACT-V V/UHF, expected to carry the Manoeuvre-Combat waveform and the battle management system (BMS) initially being SICS-Step 1, later upgrading to SICS-V2.
The Nexter Group will be responsible for the design to cost and performance, integration, production and support of the lightweight VBMR. This fully French-made vehicle will be assembled in Roanne, France, alongside the VBMR-GRIFFON and EBRC-JAGUAR, thus reinforcing job creation in the Roanne basin and in the engineering offices.
Texelis, a French intermediate sized enterprise based in Limoges, will design and supply the mobility equipment. As the French specialist in heavy vehicle power trains, Texelis contributes to the Lightweight VBMR's mobility performance.
"I am extremely proud and pleased of this recognition of the expertise of Nexter and its teams, who have come up with the perfect answer to this programme's requirements," Stéphane Mayer, Nexter's CEO, commented. "With this contract Nexter is reinforcing its presence within the SCORPION programme and strengthening its position as the reference player in the field of land armament."
This contract follows on from the industrial architect contract awarded to tns-MARS (a joint venture including Nexter, Safran and Thales), the contract grouping together the design, production and support of the VBMR-GRIFFON and the EBRC-JAGUAR (within a temporary consortium consisting of Nexter, Thales and Renault Trucks Defense) and from the renewal of the LECLERC main battle tank of which Nexter is prime contractor.
"I am very proud of the Texelis team for the part they have played in winning this highly significant contract for Lightweight VBMR. The decision of the DGA and the partnership with Nexter strengthens and confirms our strategy to be specialists in wheeled armoured vehicle and public transport mobility," Charles-Antoine de Barbuat, Texelis CEO, concluded.