Renault aims for all-aspect autonomy in armoured vehicle development
By Rupert Pengelley
The Blindé Moyen Experimental (BMX) test bed vehicle programme, sponsored by the Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) as a research tool for the French Army's future SCORPION networked battle group concept, is serving as a springboard for Renault Trucks Defense (RTD) next-generation armoured vehicle development effort.
Step one of the SCORPION programme includes command-and-control and vehicular elements, among them the Véhicule Blindé Multirole (VBMR) intended to replace the in-service VAB 4x4 wheeled vehicle family, developed by RTD. In outline the French Army has been calling for a 6x6 wheeled design in the 20-tonne weight range as its VBMR platform, with integral STANAG 4569 Level 3 ballistic and mine protection, upgradeable to Level 4 using add-on armour kits to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 25 tonnes.
To be able to examine design and materials options for the VBMR, the DGA commissioned BMX test beds from Nexter and RTD in 2010. Nexter is understood to have produced demonstrators for three different 6x6 design solutions, its private-venture XP2, revealed in June 2010, being just the first.176 of 745 words
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