France’s General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) have confirmed orders for a total of more than 300 new armoured fighting vehicles for the French Army. Nexter, Arquus and Thales are the key suppliers along with CTA International for the CT40 40mm cannon and MBDA for the ATGM system mounted on the Jaguar. Thales are providing the 2R2M mortar system for the MEPAC (mortier embarqué pour l’appui au contact).
271 Griffon Engin Blindé Multi-Rôles (Armoured Multi-roles Vehicles) and 42 Jaguar Engin Blindé de Reconnaissance et de Combat (Armored Reconnaissance and Combat Vehicle) will be delivered by the end of 2023. These are in addition to the initial tranche of 319 Griffon and 20 Jaguar ordered in 2017. Under France’s 2019-2025 Military Programming Law – essentially a near-term procurement programme to modernise the Army – an intended target of 1,872 Griffons and 300 Jaguars delivered has been set by 2030 with the first half delivered by 2025.
The DGA describes the Griffon as; “… 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 [RWS]. It comes in several versions: troop transport, command post, observation for artillery and medical evacuation.” As noted the Griffon will eventually replace all VAB based platforms.
The Jaguar is replacing ageing light tanks and wheeled EBRs; “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 40mm telescoped ammunition gun produced in Franco-British cooperation, the medium-range missile (MMP) and a remotely operated cupola [RWS].”
In related news, a pair of French Griffons have been reported to be undergoing trials in Djibouti. The vehicles arrived on 10 September for a ten-day series of trials in the arid, semi-desert environment. The Belgians have also announced that FN Herstal have been awarded the contract to provide their deFNnder remote weapon stations (RWS) for Belgian Army Griffons. France will also acquire the FN RWS for their Leclerc main battle tanks (MBT).