French Nexter unveiled Griffon for specific sapper missions

ANGERS, ($1=0.85 Euros) – If we had kept to a provisional schedule of the Scorpion program as it had been presented by the Army, the first multi-role armored vehicles [VBMR] “Griffon” in “Engineer” configuration should have been delivered to the 6th Engineer Regiment [RG] and the 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment [REG] in 2020. Except that it did not happen that way.

In October 2020, the École du Génie, established in Angers, had the premiere of the prototype of this new vehicle which, compared to its “Infantry” version, is equipped with a winch at the front, a towing hook at the rear of the chassis and specific modules specific to the missions of sappers [support in urban areas, support for mobility, support for emergency deployment, demining and pollution control, counter-mobility, etc.].

This prototype had been developed taking into account the observations made in 2016 by sappers from a combat group of the 31st RG, the latter having taken part in the first phase of “mock-up” of the Griffon in the Genie version.

“The project thus integrated for the first time these sappers so that they bring their ‘field’ vision to the designers and industrialists concerned. Involving soldiers in the creation of equipment allows the Army to have modern, high-performance equipment in line with the realities on the ground and the needs of men,” he explained at the time.

Regardless, on September 9, Nexter announced that it had presented the first Griffon “Engineer” to the Directorate General of Armaments [DGA] for “verification operations”, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing opex360. This means that the start of deliveries of this new type of vehicle to the units concerned will not be long in coming. And the 6th RG should be first served.

However, the Griffon that we see in the two photographs published on this occasion by Nexter does not have a winch or a remotely operated cupola… Unlike the prototype which had been presented to the Engineering School by the Technical Section of the Army [STAT] almost a year ago.

Last May, Nexter welcomed the delivery of the 250th copy of the Griffon to the Army, recalling that the goal was to reach the number of 339 vehicles delivered by the end of this year. As a reminder, 1,872 armored vehicles of this type are to be put into service by 2030, alongside the “Serval” Light VBMRs, which will also have a “Genie” version.

In addition, the Griffon in “Infantry” configuration is about to experience its baptism of fire in the Sahel, within the Desert Tactical Group [GTD] Korrigan, armed by the 3rd Marine Infantry Regiment [RIMa], the 11th Marine Artillery Regiment [RAMa] and the 6th RG.

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