Scarabee is a new 4×4 light armoured vehicle developed by Arquus, a French land defence systems producer. It will be used for reconnaissance, scouting and support missions.
Arquus launched the Scarabee modern hybrid-drive vehicle for the first time outside France at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in Abu Dhabi, in February 2021.
An all-electric version of the Scarabee vehicle was presented in Satory, France, in October 2020. The light armoured vehicle was also exhibited during the Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget Parc des Expositions, in June 2019.
The armoured vehicle is designed to support a range of missions including tank guidance, quick response force, light cavalry, anti-tank, hunter-killer, fire support, urban combat, and special forces. It is part of the Arquus range of military vehicles that includes the Trigger light tactical vehicle (LTV), Trapper VT4, Sabre Special Forces Vehicle, and Fortress Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC).
Design and features of Scarabee armoured vehicle
The Scarabee light armoured vehicle has a length of 5.25m, width of 2.1m, height of 2m, and gross weight of 8t. It can accommodate up to four members. All the crew members in the vehicle will be able to communicate with each other using built-in intercoms.
The design will provide a 200° visibility to the pilot seated in the forward central position for improved view of the surroundings, particularly against improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The Arquus Hornet remote controlled weapon system (RCWS) further enables greater accuracy and enhanced situational awareness during day and night.
The electric variant offers high stealth performance with the lithium batteries enabling silent reconnaissance and attack, even when the vehicle is very close to the target. Scarabee will have the capability to approach, observe, analyse, and return before transmitting the reports to the commanding unit without turning on the diesel engine.
Scarabee can be air-dropped from the LTCO12 platform, allowing it to be mission-ready within 15 minutes. The compact design and independent steering rear wheels allow the vehicle to take very short and tight U-turns in compartmentalised environments such as alleys and woods.
The armoured vehicle can be installed with Arquus’ Battlenet battle management system (BMS) which provides complete collaborative situational awareness including vehicle status, tactical map, blue force tracking, weapon status, collaborative protection and 360° proximity cameras. The BMS solution will help improve decision-making, while reducing workload on the crew members.
Armament and self-protection
The Scarabee armoured vehicle is armed with the Hornet RCWS which offers superior ballistic protection. The Hornet range has three different turrets which will be able to accommodate 7.62mm machine guns, 40mm grenade launchers, and electro-optical (EO) sensors. The Hornet RCWS can identify and engage targets, day and night, within an elevation of up to 60°.
The vehicle can also be fitted with a range of weapons including small-calibre RCWS, Milan ATGM missile and Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP) missile.
The light armoured vehicle will offer mine and ballistic protection in compliance with the STANAG 4569 standard. The self-protection of the vehicle can be bolstered by an independent ring carrying smoke-grenade launchers.
Scarabee armoured vehicle variants
The Scarabee armoured vehicle is available in three different versions, all of which are based on the same platform to ensure operational and maintenance benefits such as commonality, maintenance optimisation, and reduced cost of ownership.
Arquus presented its PATSAS (Patrol SAS) version at the IDEX 2021. The vehicle will cater to the needs of special forces units.
The reconnaissance version will offer higher firepower on the battlefield with its 30mm cannon. It will offer improved stealth and offensive capabilities.
The third version is fitted with Arquus’ Battlenet BMS to perform security, counter-terrorist and urban operations.
Engine and mobility
The armoured vehicle is powered by V6 diesel engine which can generate a power output of 300hp. The engine is coupled to a 70kw hybrid electric drive system. The vehicle can also be equipped with 12kWh high-capacity li-ion rechargeable batteries.
The power-plant will allow the vehicle to move at higher speeds of up to 130km/h. The armoured vehicle can negotiate a maximum gradient of 60% and side slope of 40%. It will have a ground clearance of 0.385m, which can be adjusted to meet missing needs such as off-roading and obstacle crossing, transport, air drop, and greater stealth in a firing or observation position.
The light armoured vehicle can cross a trench of 0.9m wide and vertical obstacle of 0.4m high and can ford a maximum depth of 0.8m. It can be transported under slung by C-130, Chinook, and A400M military transport aircraft.