Scorpion EMBR Engin Blindé Multi-Rôle
The Scorpion program will allow the Army to modernize, from 2018, its Joint Tactical Groups (Groupements tactiques interarmes, GTIA). These are intended to face all types of combat operations, and will see their core equipment renewed around two vehicle programs. The first phase of the Scorpion modernization effort has a €5 billion (US $6.3 billion) budget under the six-year military budget law, half of the €10 billion planned to fund 20-25 years of work to renew the Army’s combat systems. Arquus is set to provide within 2025 the mobility elements of 936 Griffons and 150 Jaguars, part of the Scorpion program. Arquus now also relies on the Belgian KAMO (Belgian Scorpion) contract estimated at €1.1 billion (for 60 Jaguars and 417 Griffons).
After a first order in 2017 for 319 Griffons and 20 Jaguars, the DGA notified the companies Nexter Systems, Arquus and Thales on September 15, 2020, of a second phase of vehicle production, as part of the Scorpion program to renew vehicle capacities. combat of the Army. The 271 Griffons and 42 Jaguars ordered on September 15, 2020 will arrive in the forces between 2022 and 2023.
Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, welcomes the order by the General Directorate of Armaments (DGA), on September 15, 2020, of 271 Griffon armored vehicles and 42 Jaguar armored vehicles, from Nexter, Arquus and Thales as part of of the Scorpion program. In addition to Nexter Systems, Thales and Arquus, the program also involves Safran for the optronics and armament of the Jaguar, CTA International for its 40mm gun and MBDA for its MMPs.
The 2019-2025 Military Programming Law (LPM) provides for both an increase in the targets of the Scorpion program and an acceleration of deliveries. The target in 2030 was thus raised to 1,872 Griffon and 300 Jaguar units, half of which (respectively 936 and 150) will be delivered by 2025. In addition to schools and training centers, 5 regiments will have started the Griffon perceptions at the end of 2020 and 9 regiments at the end of 2021.
The arrival of the first Griffons allows the Army to truly enter the Scorpion era, with a platform that benefits from significant advances in terms of protection, mobility and an ability to gradually integrate into collaborative information-enhanced combat (sharing of intelligence, acceleration of the decision-making loop). The objective therefore remains to project a first Griffon combined arms battle group in external operation by the end of 2021.
Via this order, the entire French industrial and technological base for Defense (BITD) in the land area is irrigated. The three prime contractors will in fact pass on the orders to their subcontractors and suppliers within a few days. It is estimated that the Griffon and Jaguar load plan represents nearly 2,000 direct highly qualified jobs.
Under Managed by the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), the Scorpion Armured Multi-roles Vehicle (Engin Blindé Multi-Rôle - Armoured Multi-roles Vehicles) contract covers:
- GRIFFON - development and acquisition of 1,722 Véhicules Blindés Multi Rôles (armored multi-role vehicles, VBMR). Called Griffon, they will replace the current Véhicules de l’Avant Blindé (VAB) wheeled armored vehicles. The Griffon VBMR (Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle) is a new development of a 24.5-ton 6x6 heavy VBMR and a 10-ton 4x4 light VBMR Multi-Role armored vehicle for the French Army under the EBMR Scorpion program. The Griffon is a multi-role armored vehicle (VBMR) intended to replace the front armored vehicles (VAB). Weighing around 25 tonnes, it is equipped with 6 driving wheels and a remotely operated cupola. It comes in several versions: troop transport, command post, observation for artillery and medical evacuation.
- JAGUAR - development and acquisition of 248 6x6 Engins Blindés de Reconnaissance et de Combat (armored reconnaissance and combat vehicles, EBRC), called Jaguar, which will replace the Army’s current AMX10RC and ERC Sagaie light tanks, and the VAB HOT tank destroyer. Weighing around 25 tonnes, the Jaguar is an Armored Reconnaissance and Combat Vehicle (EBRC), equipped with 6-wheel drive. It is intended to replace the AMX10RC and Sagaie light tanks, as well as the VABs equipped with HOT missiles. It will be equipped with the 40 mm telescoped ammunition gun produced in Franco-British cooperation, the medium range missile (MMP) and a remotely operated cupola.
On 25 April 2017 the French Procurement Agency (DGA) placed the first production order with Nexter, Renault Trucks Defense and Thales for 319 GRIFFON and 20 JAGUAR vehicles as part of the Multi-role Armored Vehicle contract. This contract includes logistic support and the associated training. A crucial stage in the SCORPION program, the awarding of this conditional tranche thus launched the production of these new vehicles after only 27 months of development.
The Belgian Council of Ministers of October 25, 2018 approved the signing of an intergovernmental agreement with France concerning the establishment of a strategic partnership in the field of land mobility under the CaMo program. France and Belgium will develop close cooperation between the land forces of both countries. In this context, Belgium is planning the complete retrofitting of its motorized capacity through the acquisition of 382 GRIFFON multi-role armored vehicles (VBMR) and 60 JAGUAR armored reconnaissance and combat vehicle (EBRC), whose industrial mastery of work will be provided by Nexter Group.
The legacy vehicles, produced in the 1970s and 1980s, were used extensively by the French Army in all theaters of operation for thirty years. Scorpion suffered from delays due to budgetary pressures which pushed the scheduel back by three years, with the original unit purchase figures being downsized. As of 2014, almost 2,000 vehicles, and all associated logistical support equipment, were to be delivered to forces from 2018. The initial program called for 92 six-wheel VBMR vehicles to be delivered to the French Army by 2019, with the first batch of four-wheel light VBMRs following in 2021. The first phase of the Scorpion program would see 110 Jaguar EBRC fighting vehicles delivered to the Army.
24 April 2017 – The French Procurement Agency (DGA) placed the first production order with Nexter, Renault Trucks Defense and Thales for 319 GRIFFON and 20 JAGUAR vehicles as part of the Multi-role Armored Vehicle contract. This contract includes logistic support and the associated training. A crucial stage in the SCORPION program, the awarding of this conditional tranche will thus launch the production of these new vehicles after only 27 months of development.
The GRIFFON Multi-role Armored Vehicle and the JAGUAR Armored Reconnaissance and Combat Vehicle, both of which benefit from a high level of protection, respectively replace the VAB and the AMX10RC, the SAGAIE ERC and the VAB Hot, used intensively by the Army for over thirty years. They will enable the French Army to have a state-of-the-art combat tool with the best protection technologies and the best possible use to be made of digitized data on the battlefield.
Consortium - Nexter, RTD and Thales
On 05 December 2014, on the occasion of its visit in the 27th Mountain Infantry Brigade Artillery of Varces (Isère), Jean-Yves LE DRIAN, Minister of Defence, handed the EBMR market to the CEOs of the GME (temporary consortium) formed by the French companies Nexter Systems, Renault Trucks Defense and Thales. Le Drian added that from 2025 the French army will have been entirely re-equipped, and in addition to Griffon and Jaguar it also will operate the VBCI and 200 upgraded Leclerc tanks; the latter will remain in service until 2040.
Nexter, a company of KNDS Group, European leader in land defense, has been chosen to respond to the CaMo program leading to the acquisition by Belgium of 382 VBMR-GRIFFON in different configurations and 60 EBRC-JAGUAR. These enhanced information vehicles will be identical to those of France, which maximizes cooperation and allows interoperability that can lead to integration between the two Armed Forces. This acquisition is a strategic step in the cooperation between the Belgian Landcomponent and the French Army, and marks a milestone in the construction of the Europe of defense.
Nexter, system integrator architect of land defense and supplier of all combat vehicles of the French Army already equips the Belgian Landcomponent with 105LG1, 105mm guns. To respond to the CaMo program, the Group will rely on the know-how of its teams, its mastery of complex systems (LECLERC tank, JAGUAR design authority, VBCI, CAESAR, ...), and its central role in SCORPION French Armored Multi-Role vehicle (EBMR) program, alongside its French industrial cooperatives, primarily Arquus and Thales, grouped together in a temporary business venture. In parallel, Nexter has signed partnership agreements with several Belgian companies. It is in this context that the final assembly of the VBMR-GRIFFON will be done by CMI Defense in Belgium and that the turret of the Belgian vehicle will be produced by FN Herstal. MECAR, the Belgian Nexter Group subsidiary, will be in charge of producing part of the ammunition.
Prepared by the Armament Procurement Agency (DGA), this market plans the development, the manufacturing and the support of the EBMR of the SCORPION program. The contract covers all phases of an armament program, from development to unit logistical support through the qualification and production of systems. The GME is committed to the integral performance of the equipment in the long term as well as the operational availability of vehicles in service.
The state of the art innovation and know-how developed by the three companies in the GME in the domains of mobility, protection, weapons and digitization will be integrated in the first SCORPION-approved systems. The effect on the ground for future joint tactical groups (GTIA) equipped with SCORPION EBMR systems will be greatly increased with regard to the previous generation. This program has a structuring effect for Nexter, RTD and Thales as well as for the French industrial sector that will be nourished by the subcontracting orders from the GME. It will create a thousand jobs in its development phase and 1,700 jobs in its production phase.
Nexter Systems applies its expertise in land defence systems to meet the needs of the French army and other forces internationally. The scope of its business includes the supply of weapons systems and munitions for Army, Air Force, Navy and law enforcement applications. In 2013 Nexter reported revenue of Euros 787 million, of which 18% were allocated to Research & Development. The range of products offered by Nexter includes: Artillery systems CAESAR®, TRAJAN and, 105LG, Leclerc main battle tank, VBCI Infantry combat vehicle, ARAVIS® highly protected armoured vehicle, TITUS®, Nexter new armored 6x6, BONUS smart ammunition, all backed up by customer service, support and recycling.
Renault Trucks Defense develops and manufactures a full range of armored, tactical and logistics vehicles from 7.9 to 42 t. It is a legacy supplier to the French armed forces with almost all the trucks in service and numerous armored vehicles. It also supplies the complete 8x8 driveline of the French Army’s 630 VBCI infantry fighting vehicles and the special chassis of the Caesar® from Nexter Systems, a 155 mm self-propelled howitzer. RENAULT TRUCKS Defense’s customer portfolio also includes more than 65 other countries. 5,000 VAB Mk1 APCs have been sold worldwide so far, while new models such as the SHERPA LIGHT 4x4 tactical vehicle have already secured their first export contracts.
Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2013, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion with 65,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners.
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