Nexter begins production of Serval armoured vehicles

by Jean-Marc Tanguy

Nexter chief executive officer Nicolas Chamussy officially opened the assembly line for the Serval Véhicule Blindé Multi-rôles (VBMR) Léger light multirole armoured vehicle in Roanne, southern France, on 23 September. (Jean-Marc Tanguy)

Nexter chief executive officer Nicolas Chamussy officially opened the assembly line for the Serval Véhicule Blindé Multi-rôles (VBMR) Léger light multirole armoured vehicle in Roanne, southern France, on 23 September.

The French Army has already received 14 Serval prototypes and pre-series vehicles, and four production vehicles are now on the assembly line that opened in June. The first series vehicles will be delivered for acceptance tests by the Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA), the French armament procurement agency, in January 2022, “three months ahead of schedule”, noted Chamussy.

Texelis provides the vehicle's mobility kit.

Janes was given a ride in a Serval prototype, which is noisier than the larger Griffon VBMR but the Serval's combat compartment is similar to the Griffon's but with a lower roof. The Serval has an endurance of one day, compared to three for the Griffon. The normal cruising speed of the Serval is 90 km/h, with the possibility of reaching 100 km/h in combat mode if required.


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GDLS wins US Army's ‘light tank' competition, deliveries to begin in early 2024

by Ashley Roque

This GDLS ‘light tank' prototype has won the US Army's Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) competition. (GDLS)

General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) will build the US Army's new ‘light tank' and has received a USD1.14 billion contract to produce up to 96 vehicles, according to several service officials.

The army has tasked GDLS with producing the first 26 Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) vehicles with initial deliveries scheduled to begin within 19 months, Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems Brigadier General Glenn Dean told reporters on 28 June. The army plans to buy a total of 504 platforms but service leaders may adjust this number over time.

“MPF represents a new capability for the army, allowing our light manoeuvre forces to overmatch adversaries,” said Major General Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross-Functional Team. “Through multiple soldier touchpoints, our soldiers have operated the prototypes and provided crucial feedback to the design team, ensuring our forces will have the asset they need on the future battlefield.”


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Ukraine conflict: PzH 2000s transferred to Kyiv

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Ukraine has received PzH 2000 SPHs from Germany and the Netherlands. (KMW)

The Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 155 mm self-propelled howitzer (SPH) is now part of Ukraine's artillery arsenal, Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov tweeted on 21 June, thanking his German and Dutch counterparts Christine Lambrecht and Kajsa Ollongren.

German and Dutch instructors trained 60 Ukrainian artillery crew members on the SPH at the Bundeswehr's artillery school in Idar-Oberstein, Rhineland-Palatinate, southwestern Germany, starting from the second week of May following Lambrecht's announcement that Berlin would supply Kyiv with seven of the systems.

The SPHs came from the pool of systems being overhauled by Germany's Heeresinstandsetzungslogistik (Army Logistics Maintenance, HIL) organisation.

Ukraine received another five PzH 2000s from the Netherlands.

Other NATO countries are supplying Ukraine with M109 SPHs. UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky News on the second day of the 15–16 June NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels that London is providing more than 20 M109 155 mm SPHs purchased on the global market and refurbished.


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Australia considers reduction in IFV requirement

by Julian Kerr

Australia is considering reducing the scope of its programme to procure infantry fighting vehicles. Two platforms are competing for the contract: Rheinmetall's Lynx KF41 and Hanwha's Redback (pictured above). (Hanwha Defense Australia)

The scope of a multi-billion dollar programme to supply the Australian Army with up to 450 tracked infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) may significantly be reduced, Janes has learnt.

According to informed sources, Rheinmetall Defence Australia (RDA) and Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) – the two companies vying for Project Land 400 Phase 3 – were requested by the Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra around 18 June to amend their respective bids to provide 300 IFVs instead of the original 450.

This involves revising the pricing model in the final proposals submitted by both companies in late 2021 at the conclusion of extensive risk mitigation activities involving the Rheinmetall's Lynx KF41 and Hanwha's Redback.

The companies were also asked to submit bridging budgets, enabling the government to consider increasing its order in increments of 50 vehicles. Revised figures were required by the end of July for a decision on the successful contender in September, the sources said.


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Nexter chief executive officer Nicolas Chamussy officially opened the assembly line for the Serval V...

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