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OCCAR and Arquus-Nexter consortium sign VBAE pre-design contract

Arquus has been developing the Scarabee 4×4 armoured reconnaissance vehicle (pictured) as a replacement for the VBL. (Arquus)

The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), Arquus, and Nexter announced on 6 December that they had signed a pre-design contract for the Véhicule Blindé d'Aide à l'Engagement (Armoured Engagement Support Vehice: VBAE) for the French and Belgian armies. The programme will be set up and managed by OCCAR. Arquus and Nexter, the latter part of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann + Nexter Defense Systems (KNDS), said in a joint press release that the contract signing is the first step towards the convergence of the the operational requirements and architecture of the VBAE.

The VBAE will replace the Véhicule Blindé Léger (VBL) light armoured vehicle in service with French forces since the late 1980s. OCCAR said on its website on 6 December that the preparation and definition phase of the VBAE programme covered by the EUR15 million (USD16.17 million) contract would last two years. The organisation expected this phase to be followed by further development, production, and an integrated service solutions contract “in the near future”.

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