France’s Delegation for Armaments (DGA) has ordered 364 Serval armoured vehicles for the French Army.
The vehicle, built by a partnership between Nexter and Texelis, is part of France’s mass modernisation of its land forces under Project Scorpion.
Nexter and Texelis will deliver the first 12 production Servals in the first half of 2022, with a further 96 vehicles to come later in the same year.
The order was agreed on 23 December but was not made public until 15 January.
Sharing its name with France’s 2013 mission in Mali, the Serval is a 15-tonne armoured vehicle featuring the Scorpion Combat Information System (SICS) designed to network France’s new fleet of ground vehicles.
Across the Scorpion programme, France is developing 6,000 new vehicles including upgraded main battle tanks, troop carriers, infantry fighting vehicles and protected mortar carriers.
Alongside the Griffon, Serval will replace the in-service Véhicule de l’avant blindé (VABs), which has been in service since the 1970s. The vehicle has been described as the future ‘workhorse’ of the French Army.
In total, France plans to order around 2,038 Serval with deliveries expected to continue until 2032.
The 4×4 can carry a squad of eight personnel, including a driver and gunner, and features a fully-formed V-shaped aluminium hill. While more expensive, Nexter and Texelis say this design features better blast resistance.
The vehicle is based on a modular design with three main variants, patrol, intelligence and reconnaissance, and communications relay. However, at International Armoured Vehicles (2020) French defence officials said there would be 16 different variants of the vehicle.
Around ten prototype Serval are already undergoing qualification tests with the French Army.