GRIFFON-Equipped Battle Group to be Deployed by 2021 Year-End
The DGA, France’s military procurement management authority, ordered a second batch of a further 271 GRIFFON and 42 JAGUAR armoured vehicles on 15 September, for delivery between 2022-2023, according to a statement from the Ministry of the Armed Forces on 22 September. The initial order placed in 2017 covered 319 GRIFFONs and 20 JAGUARs.
Ordered under the SCORPION army modernisation programme, Nexter, Arquus and Thales are working to delivery targets by 2030 of 1,872 and 300 vehicles respectively, of which 50% will be delivered by 2025. In addition to training establishments, five French Army regiments will have begun to receive GRIFFON by the end of this year, increasing to nine at the end of next year. The force has an objective of being able to deploy an initial GRIFFON-equipped combined arms battle group in overseas operations by the end of 2021.
GRIFFON is a 25t Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (VBMR) intended to replace the Front-line Armoured Vehicle (VAB) currently in service. It features 6-wheel drive and a remotely operated cupola, being delivered in several versions: troop transport, command post, artillery observation and medical evacuation.
At approx. the same weight, JAGUAR is an Armoured Reconnaissance and Combat Vehicle (EBRC), also 6-wheel drive and intended to replace the AMX10RC and SAGAIE, as well as HOT-equipped VAB. It will be equipped with the 40mm telescoped ammunition CTA cannon produced in Franco-British cooperation, the medium range missile (MMP) and a remotely operated cupola.
The three prime contractors will be passing orders to their subcontractors and suppliers within a few days, according to the Ministry statement. Current estimates are that the programme for these two vehicles support almost 2,000 highly-qualified direct jobs within the French defence industrial base.
In addition to the three primes, the programme also involves Safran (JAGUAR optronics and armament), CTA International (40mm gun) and MBDA (MMP).