The French defense procurement agency (DGA) has awarded the sixth contract amendment to a consortium formed by Nexter, Arquus and Thales for the delivery of further Griffon multi-role armored vehicles.
The latest modification under the country’s Scorpion land vehicle acquisition program will cover the delivery of 54 Griffon VBMRs and bring the total number of vehicles ordered to 1,872.
More interestingly, these will be the first Griffon variants equipped with Thales’s 120-mm 2R2M (rifled recoiled mounted mortar) system.
Since consultations began in November 2018, the three industry partners have worked together and with the DGA to design a new version of the vehicle concept with artillery capabilities.
This is the first time the French Army will field the 2R2M, which is already in service in four other countries. The mounted mortar system will provide added mobility and precision in front-line combat operations as well as better protection for soldiers.
In addition to structural modifications to the system architecture, this new version will include significant changes to the onboard optronics and the vehicle’s mobility systems, according to Thales.
The rear compartment of the vehicle will be modified to accommodate the weapon system, mortar operators and the mortar rounds needed on the mission. Roof hatches will also be installed to open or close the top of the vehicle as the needs of the battlegroup evolve.
After qualification of the MEPAC variant, the DGA will take delivery of the first vehicles by the end of 2023, with the remaining deliveries scheduled between 2024 and 2027.