The French Ministry of Defence (MoD) unveiled an additional special operations vehicle (SOV) at Eurosatory in Paris.
A representative of the Section Technique de l'Armée de Terre (STAT) told Jane’s that two 4×4 Fardier SOV technology demonstrators had been manufactured ahead of a trials and evaluation programme with French special operations forces (SOF) scheduled to begin in 2019.
The Fardier, which can be loaded in the cargo hold of the NH90 helicopter, will be operated as an internally transportable vehicle (ITV) and will join the French Special Operations Command’s (COS’s) inventory of next-generation Heavy (PLFS) and Light (VLFS) Special Forces Vehicles which are due to enter service over the next few years.
Manufactured by French company Unac Militaire, the Fardier measures 2.5 m in length and 1.5 m in width. The left-hand drive vehicle is operated by two personnel with capacity for a third passenger in the rear.
The vehicle has a gross vehicle weight of 1,940 kg and can be armed with a pair of 7.62 mm machine guns. It can tow a 350 kg trailer carrying equipment such as a 120 mm mortar.
A Kohler KDW1404 engine enables it to attain a top speed of 60 km/h.
It is also designed to reduce maintenance and logistics requirements by incorporating minimal electronic equipment.
Following the successful completion of trials in 2019 to 2020, a total of 300 Fardier SOVs are expected to enter service with the COS as well as French Army airborne components from 2021.
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