NexterArquus, and Thales have fulfilled their contractual obligations on the Scorpion programme, delivering the 500th Griffon multirole armoured vehicle (AV) and 50th Jaguar armoured reconnaissance and fighting vehicle to the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA).

This represents an achievement for the three industry partners on the Scorpion programme, which encompasses the delivery of 1,872 Griffons and 300 Jaguars.

The French Army SCORPION programme

Several variants are being manufactured, including an APC, command post (CP) vehicle, an Artillery Observer (AO) vehicle, and an ambulance, with possible plans for a reconnaissance variant as of 2021, according to GlobalData’s “France Defence Market 2023-2028” report.

Nexter, as part of the EBMR temporary consortium, has played a role in the production and assembly of the Griffon and Jaguar. The company’s manufacturing facilities, including the Roanne site, have been important in constructing the armoured aluminium body, outfitting the vehicle’s interior, and manufacturing the turret for the Jaguar.

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By GlobalData

By employing high-precision machining and robotic welding processes, Nexter ensures optimal protection for military personnel within the welded aluminium structure of both vehicles. In addition, Nexter is responsible for manufacturing Jaguar’s 40 mm cannon and its telescoped munitions at its Bourges and La Chapelle Saint-Ursin facilities.

Nexter’s contributions extend beyond the physical construction of the vehicles. Various Nexter sites and subsidiaries supply components and equipment for the Griffon and Jaguar. This includes CBRN protection systems by NBC-Sys, onboard electronics and computers produced in Toulouse, and vision systems manufactured by OPT-Sys.

Nexter takes on the important task of final assembly and integration of all these components, along with those provided by Arquus and Thales, resulting in fully functional vehicles ready for deployment.

Tristan Sauer, aerospace, defence, and security reporter at GlobalData, outlined the benefits of collaboration in armoured vehicle programmes in an analyst briefing titled “The success of the French Army’s SCORPION is a testament to the benefits of defence consortiums“.

“The EBRC Jaguar and indeed the French Army’s entire SCORPION modernization program exemplifies the numerous benefits afforded by defence consortiums and enhancing engagement from the end-user throughout the development cycle.”

Arquus and Thales’s role for AVs

Arquus assumes responsibility for designing and manufacturing the complete powertrains for the Griffon and Jaguar. This includes the engines, gearboxes, running gear, and other parts that ensure vehicle mobility.

Arquus’ production centre of excellence in Limoges plays a role in manufacturing the mobility kits, which are then integrated into the vehicles at Nexter’s Roanne facility. The engines for the Griffon and Jaguar are built at Arquus’ Marolles-en-Hurepoix site, where a dedicated team of specialists provides quality assurance for all powertrain components.

Thales, a provider of advanced technological solutions, contributes to vehicle interconnection to the Scorpion programme. Thales provides the necessary vetronics and data systems, enabling the vehicles to function as a network and conduct collaborative engagements.

This encompasses the common Scorpion vetronics, onboard sensors, secure communication systems, and self-protection systems with collaborative combat algorithms. Furthermore, Thales is entrusted with producing radars and sensor payload for the artillery observation vehicle (VOA).

The onboard computing architecture developed by Thales interconnects various systems, including navigation, protection, observation, and communication, equipping deployed units with enhanced intelligence and response capabilities in a theatre of operations.

According to GlobalData’s “The Global Military Land Vehicles Market 2023-2033” report, France is anticipated to account for the fourth-largest market share in the European market. The Scorpion program mainly drives the country’s spending.

The successful delivery of the 500th Griffon and 50th Jaguar represents an accomplishment for Nexter, Thales, and Arquus on the AV programme.