Griffon 6x6 multi-role armoured vehicles is designed to replace the French Army’s ageing VAB vehicles. Image courtesy of Ministry of Defence, France.
Griffon VBMR transport variant accommodates two crew and eight troops. Image courtesy of Ministry of Defence, France.
The French DGA placed an order for 319 Griffon tactical vehicles in April 2017.
The Griffon artillery observation vehicle is equipped with Safran's Paseo optronic system. Image courtesy of Adrien Daste / Safran.

The new-generation Griffon 6×6 multi-role armoured vehicles (VBMR) are being acquired by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) to replace the ageing fleet of Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé (VAB) 4×4 armoured personnel carriers, which have been operational with the French Army since 1976.

The vehicle is developed by a consortium of French companies, comprising Nexter Systems, Renault Trucks Defense, and Thales. It can be configured for various roles such as troop transport, command post, artillery observation vehicle, recovery, refuelling, and medical evacuation.

The armoured carrier variant is intended for transportation of infantrymen, mounted troops, weapon systems and cargo to the battlefield under high protection.

Orders and deliveries of the VBMR

Renault Trucks Defense and Nexter Systems signed a pact to perform a detailed VBMR design following a proposal request in November 2011.

The French DGA unveiled its plan to acquire a total of 1,722 Griffon multi-role vehicles under its Scorpion programme in November 2014. A contractual agreement for the manufacture of the VBMR vehicles was signed in December 2014.

A Griffon VBMR prototype was introduced during Eurosatory 2016 international defence and security industry trade show in Paris, France, in June 2016.

The consortium secured an order from the DGA for the production 319 Griffon 6×6 tactical vehicles in April 2017. The first units are expected to be delivered in 2018.

Griffon VBMR design and features

Based on a 6×6 all-terrain truck chassis, the Griffon VBMR features modular architecture with a maximum gross vehicle weight of 24t. It is manned by a crew of two and can accommodate up to eight personnel.

The layout of the armoured vehicle is conventional with engine compartment located in the front section, crew cabin in the middle and troop compartment at the rear.

The protected crew cabin is fitted with a bullet-resistant windscreen and two side doors featuring bulletproof windows. The troop compartment has two small bulletproof viewing windows on either side. A large rear door provides entry and exit for troops from the rear.

Two firing ports are provided on rooftop hatches of the troop compartment for use by the infantry.

The vehicle is equipped with a protective overpressure system to maintain constant overpressure, and an air-conditioning unit to create a comfortable working environment.

“The vehicle is developed by a consortium of French companies, comprising Nexter Systems, Renault Trucks Defense, and Thales.”

The Griffon tactical vehicle is transportable by air, land and sea modes.

Armament and protection of Griffon VBMR

The French Army’s new multi-role armoured vehicle is equipped with a remote-controlled weapon station armed with a single 12.7mm or 7.62mm MAG 58 heavy machine gun or 40mm automatic grenade launcher.

Optional armament of the vehicle includes FELIN soldier system, 81mm mortar, and MMP medium-range missile.

Designed in accordance with high levels of NATO STANAG standard, the Griffon VBMR offers improved protection over VAB. It can withstand small arms fire, shell splinters, improvised explosive device (IED) and mine blasts.

The on-board chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defence suite protects the vehicle’s occupants from CBRN threats.

The crew survivability is further improved by a set of eight smoke grenade launchers fitted to the weapon station.

Observation and countermeasures

The remote weapon station has a day-and-night sighting system, which provides vehicle commander and gunners with increased field of view for detection, recognition and identification of targets.

The remote weapon station is coupled with METRAVIB’s SLATE acoustic sniper localisation system.

The Griffon VOA artillery observation vehicle variant incorporates Safran’s Paseo new-generation electro-optical system.

Consisting of an inertial navigator and high-resolution sensors, the optronic system also provides surveillance, artillery observation, fire control and geolocation information.

Navigation and communications

Safran Electronics & Defense’s Epsilon 10 terrestrial navigator is fitted to provide accurate position, autonomous engagement and navigation capabilities to the Griffon multi-role armoured vehicle.

The VOA version comes with a navigation system based on hemispherical resonating gyro (HRG) technology.

The French Army’s Scorpion Combat Information System (SICS) is installed to allow troops to share information in the battlefield. The vehicle is also equipped with Thales CONTACT (Digital Tactical Communications and Theater) radio system, which enables automated information sharing and flat networking.

Countermeasures of the vehicle include barrage jammer, infrared jammer, fire detection system, laser detector, and missile detection system.

Engine and performance of Griffon VBMR

Driven by a single diesel engine, rated at approximately 400hp, the Griffon VBMR armoured vehicle offers a range of 400km.

The vehicle is expected to be fitted with an automatic transmission and independent hydro-strut suspension systems.

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