The Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), France’s defence equipment agency, confirmed the first production order for the SERVAL armoured vehicle on 23 December. Nexter and Texelis have been notified that a total of 364 vehicles are now contracted, with delivery of the first 12 production vehicles in the first half of 2022 and a further 96 in the second half.
The SERVAL VBMR (véhicule blindé multi-rôles) is a 15t multi-role armoured vehicle which integrates equipment common to other SCORPION vehicles (the project to entirely recapitalise the French Army’s combat vehicle fleet), especially the electronic core; a turret remotely operated from the passenger compartment; threat sensors; and the SCORPION Combat Information System (SICS), which enables the vehicle to be integrated into the SCORPION systems network. Based on a modular architecture, Nexter and Texelis have developed three main versions of this platform – patrol, intelligence and reconnaissance, and communications relay – each of which is available in numerous variants. Designed to operate in combat zones, SERVAL combines flexibility, strategic mobility and payload capacity. It is the indispensable complement to the heavy multi-role armoured vehicle GRIFFON (EBMR) and the armoured reconnaissance and combat vehicle JAGUAR (EBRC) that will equip the Army’s armoured middle segment. In addition, as part of a procedure launched by the Gendarmerie to renew its fleet of armoured vehicles, the two companies are offering a system based on the SERVAL that integrates a motorized protection solution capable of operating in mainland France and overseas.
Despite the difficulties caused by the health crisis, Nexter and Texelis have managed to develop a highly protected and particularly mobile combat vehicle on an extremely tight schedule. While awaiting initial deliveries, SERVAL's qualification process is continuing, with around ten prototypes currently in the testing programme.