The French Army will deploy at least 10 variants of its new 6×6 Griffon Véhicule Blindé Multi-Role (VBMR) with additional models, including a mortar carrier with a turntable-mounted 120 mm mortar, to be developed and deployed in the future.
The VBMR is known as a “Troop Transport Vehicle” by the French Army and is the long-term replacement for some, but not all, of the 4×4 Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé (VAB) armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and variants, which have been in service for 35 years and are now in urgent need of replacement.
The current French Army fleet consists of 2,700 VAB vehicles, some of which have been upgraded under urgent operational requirement (UOR) funding.
VBMR variants include 81 mm mortar carrier, ambulance, APC, artillery observation, command post, Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP) carrier, engineering, repair, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) support.
The artillery observation vehicle is referred to as the Griffon Véhicule d’observation de l’Artillerie (VOA). Thales is the prime contractor and system integrator for this variant and will provide a complete day/night reconnaissance suite that supports target acquisition for air- and land-based weapon systems.
It will have telescopic mast on top of which is fitted a day/night sighting system and a laser target designator coupled to a GO12 battlefield surveillance radar.
The baseline Griffon VBMR will have a crew of three consisting of the commander, gunner, and driver and carry eight dismounts. It will have a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 24.5 tonnes.
Thales is also supplying the common vetronics architecture as well as the Communications Numériques Tactiques et de Théatre (CONTACT) software defined radio, which is a key element of the Scorpion Combat Information System (SCIS) and ATLAS artillery fire control system.
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