SOFEX 2014

AFVs wheeled out

07 May 2014

Nexter Systems (Hall 1, Stand B130) is promoting its wheeled armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) and the CAESAR 155mm/52 calibre self-propelled (SP) artillery systems. When compared with their tracked counterparts, these combinations offer greater strategic mobility and lower through life-cycle costs that are considered to be essential in the Middle East.

Its VBCI is in full-scale production for the French Army in two versions: infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) and command post vehicle (CPV). It has already seen operational use in Afghanistan, Lebanon and more recently, Mali.

The VBCI has also been shortlisted for a number of international competitions, including in Denmark and the United Arab Emirates. It was also shortlisted by Canada, but the programme was cancelled. It will soon be evaluated by the British Army in France to meet the potential requirement for a Utility Vehicle (UV).

The French Army has taken delivery of 15 ARAVIS mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles and these have seen extensive use in Afghanistan as part of a major engineer route-clearing package. ARAVIS is based on the chassis and running gear of the Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG U-5000, providing a high level of cross-country mobility.

Nexter Systems has a major export contract for the ARAVIS in a number of configurations from an undisclosed customer – understood to be the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) – with 200 vehicles involved in three tranches.

To meet a potential gap in the market for a well-protected 6x6 MRAP type vehicle, Nexter Systems developed the TITUS, which was unveiled at DSEi last September. This has a high level of protection and mobility, being based on a Tatra drivetrain and running gear.

This is now undergoing trials in an undisclosed country in the Middle East and in addition to being marketed in the troop-carrying role is being promoted for a wide range of other missions, including internal security.

The CAESAR 155mm/52 calibre SP artillery system is already deployed by France, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

First deliveries to Indonesia are scheduled to take place in late 2014. It is being marketed on different 6x6 chassis to meet specific customer requirements.

CAESAR is available with a standard unprotected cab or with a cab with ballistic protection.

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