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Nexter and Hellenic Defence Systems partner to offer VBCI-2 to Greece

The VBCI Philoctetes was first presented by Nexter at DEFEA on 13–15 July 2021. (Nexter)

Nexter announced in a press release dated 1 April emailed four days later that it had signed a strategic partnership with Hellenic Defence Systems (HDS) to offer the VBCI-2 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) to the Greek army. Named after mythical Trojan War hero Philoctetes, the 32-tonne 8×8 IFV is equipped with a T40 turret and a more powerful 600 hp engine.

Nexter said the turret is armed with a 40 CTA 40 mm gun and MBDA Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP) medium-range missile. The 40 CTA can fire 40 mm telescoped medium-calibre munitions including explosive, airburst, and arrow rounds capable of penetrating up to 140 mm of armour, according to Nexter.

The VBCI Philoctetes was first presented by Nexter at Defence Exhibition Athens (DEFEA) on 13–15 July 2021. The VBCI-2 it is based on was first displayed by Nexter at Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2015 as a private venture aimed at the export market. In the IFV configuration, the VBCI-2 has a new welded hull with a higher roof line than the standard French Army VBCI, giving it greater internal volume. It has a diesel engine, upgraded suspension, larger tyres for enhanced cross-country mobility, the option of steering on the last road wheel station, an electronic architecture, and a driver thermal viewer. Situational awareness enhancements include cameras and thermal image systems for the driver.

Qatar ordered 490 VBCI-2s in 2017 and at Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (DIMDEX) 2018 selected the Kongsberg MCT 30 turret to arm them.

Nexter said that Philoctetes meets Greek army requirements for mobility, protection, modularity, and firepower, and that its partnership with HDS would strengthen Franco-Greek defence relations.

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