On December 18, 2020, Nexter, Thales and Arquus, as part of the temporary grouping of companies (GME) EBMR (Engins Blindés Multi-Rôles), presented the 128th GRIFFON planned for 2020 to the French Delegation for Armaments (DGA). Under the terms of the SCORPION program, and despite an unprecedented health crisis that profoundly affected production, the three manufacturers were able to take the challenge and meet their contractual objectives.
After this step, the last GRIFFONs will have to be submitted to the verification operations carried out by the DGA's quality department. The vehicles will then be transported to the Canjuers site where the Army will proceed to take them into account; it is then that the DGA will formally receive them. To date, 90 GRIFFON have completed this route, adding to the 92 GRIFFON delivered in 2019. From January 2021, the last vehicles that left the production line in December will join them in the regiments, catching up very early in 2021 with the delay due to the health crisis.
From March 2020, Covid-19 has indeed strongly disrupted the industrial organization of the program. The site of Roanne, where the GRIFFON and JAGUAR are assembled, was forced to suspend its activity from March 20 to 30 in order to allow the installation of a structure adapted to the resumption of the activity under maximum safety conditions. Since then, two teams have been working on the lines in shifts of eight consecutive hours (2x8) to ensure that the lines are operational during these 16-hour days. Closely linked to their government contacts and after consulting their suppliers, the members of the GME quickly reviewed the initial schedule: the 2020 objectives were maintained for GRIFFON; the first deliveries of JAGUAR were postponed to April 2021; and this, while preserving the amount of deliveries at the end of 2021.
The year 2020 was marked by the passage of several major milestones for the GME. In September, the DGA notified the third conditional tranche of the EBMR contract, enabling the second batch of vehicles (271 GRIFFON and 42 JAGUAR by 2023) to go into production. In November, the GRIFFON command post vehicle (EPC) was qualified. Thus, among the 128 GRIFFONs of 2020, 35 examples of this new variant were presented to the administration, an additional difficulty that the EPC teams overcame. Finally, the new-generation T1 remotely operated turret that will arm the GRIFFONs was also qualified by the DGA.
Nexter, Arquus and Thales would like to pay tribute to the exceptional commitment of their teams. Their sense of duty and creativity have enabled them to meet the expectations of the French Army and its combatants as best they could, while greatly limiting the impact of the health crisis.
Nexter (nexter-group.fr), the leading French land defense company and third European player in the ammunition sector is part of the KNDS Group. The scope of its business includes as well the supply of weapon systems and ammunition for air and naval forces. Nexter also provides systems and protection solutions in the field of homeland security. The group continues to apply its international development policy with 69% of the order intake in 2019 intended for the export market. In France, Nexter is fully committed to meeting the objectives of the SCORPION program, through the upgrade of the Leclerc tank and the development of the VBMR Griffon and EBRC Jaguar vehicles within the temporary business venture between Nexter, Thales and Arquus, as well as the Lightweight VBMR. Nexter's 2019 turnover amounted to €1,1 billion, of which 16% is allocated to Research and Development activities. The group's range of products also includes TITUS® and VBCI armored vehicles, CAESAR® and 105LG1 artillery systems, smart ammunition (BONUS), robots, many equipment, as well as customer service, support and revaluation.
Press contact: Louis Dosseur
P: +33(0)1 39 49 32 31 - E: l.dosseur[.]nexter-group.fr.
Arquus (arquus-defense.com) is a French Defense company, leader of land mobility solutions. Historical partner of the armies, Arquus has more than 25,000 vehicles currently in service in the French Army, 20,000 of which are supported by the company. Arquus takes part in the VBMR GRIFFON and EBRC JAGUAR programs, which are the new generation of the French Army’s combat vehicles, in the framework of a Temporary Grouping of Companies. Arquus is notably in charge of designing and delivering the drivelines and the self-defense weapon systems for these two vehicles. Arquus also takes charge of all the logistics for the spare parts and organs of the VBMR and EBRC vehicles of the SCORPION program, thanks to its new logistics facility in Garchizy. Expert of support solutions, with more than 20,000 vehicles serviced daily, Arquus presents complete support offers, built on the company’s historical knowledge. These solutions rely on a global logistics network, supported by the Volvo Group, Arquus’ parent company. Building on innovation, Arquus invests in major fields such as vehicle architecture, survivability, mobility, energy, robotization, weaponization, and support. Systems conceptor and integrator, Arquus also offers remote-controlled weapon stations (the Hornet range, developed as part of the SCORPION program), vetronics solutions (Battlenet) and mobility capabilities (4x4, 6x6, 8x8 drivelines). Arquus is present in more than 60 countries worldwide.
Press Contact: Marin Tollet
P: +33(0)6 51 00 04 18 - E: marin.tollet[.]arquus-defense.com.
Thales (thalesgroup.com) is a global high technology leader investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum technology to build a future we can all trust, which is vital to the development of our societies. The company provides solutions, services and products that help its customers businesses, organisations and states in the defence, aeronautics, space, transportation and digital identity and security markets to fulfil their critical missions, by placing humans at the heart of the decision-making process.
With 83,000 employees in 68 countries, Thales generated sales of €19 billion in 2019 (on a basis including Gemalto over 12 months).