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.
Prototype – quillorcapture.com
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.
Prototype – quillorcapture.com
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.
- Command post vehicle. This version was ordered by the French Army.
- Armored ambulance. This version was ordered by the French Army.
- Griffon VOA artillery observation post vehicle. It carries sensors for surveillance and artillery observation and fire control. This version was ordered by the French Army.
- Recovery vehicle.
- Refueling vehicle.
- Armored engineer vehicle.
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 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.
12.7mm remote-controlled weapon station
Armée de Terre
The FN® M2HB-QCB can be used on a wide variety of mountings for vehicles, boats and ships.
|Caliber||Operating principle||Weapon length||Barrel length||Feeding belt||Weight||Cyclic rate of fire|
|.50 (12.7x99mm NATO)||Short recoil of the barrel||1,656mm (65.2″)||1,143mm (45″)||Desintegrating link belt (M2 or M9 link)||Weapon: ~ 38.150 kg (84 lb)
Barrel assembly: ~ 13 kg (28.63 lb)
|485 to 635 RPM|
Galix grenade launchers?
The Galix 360 degree automatic obscuration system protects armored vehicles against all types of guided missiles.
Optional armament of the vehicle includes FELIN soldier system, 81mm mortar, and MMP medium-range missile.
– Manual / stand alone system : 6 or 8 launch tubes
– Automatic System : up to 12 launch tubes
– Automatic / connected system, distributed architecture : up to 24 launch tubes
120 mm Rifled recoiled Mounted Mortar system – 2R2M
Land Systems 8×8 MOWAG Piranha.The French Army will field a mortar-equipped variant of the 6×6 Griffon armoured personnel carrier (APC) fitted with the TDA Armements SAS120 mm 2R2M Recoiling Rifled Mortar (RRM) as part of its SCORPION vehicle recapitalisation programme.
The Griffon is officially called the Véhicule Blindé Multi Role (VBMR) and is being developed by a consortium comprising Nexter Systems, Renault Trucks Defense, and Thales Communications & Security.
The weapon will be installed in the rear of the Griffon and fire through the open hatches. A computerised fire control system (FCS) and navigation system provide increased accuracy.
In addition to firing conventional natures of 120 mm ammunition including high-explosive (HE), smoke, illuminating and rocket assisted projectiles, it will also fire a precision guided munition (PGM) currently under development.
This ammunition is the same as that used in the currently deployed TDA Armements SAS 120 mm MO-120-RT towed mortar system. Maximum range depends on projectile type and charge, but it is 8,135 m using a standard HE mortar bomb.
The 2R2M RRM mortar is installed on a turntable mount with powered traverse and elevation, and is fitted with a load assist device.
The weapon was originally developed by the company as a private venture and has already been tested in France integrated into a 6×6 version of Renault Trucks Defense Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé (VAB) as well as a General Dynamics European Land Systems 8×8 MOWAG Piranha. Source janes.com
MMP medium-range missile
MMP is the latest (fifth) generation land combat missile system designed for dismounted infantry as well as for integration on combat vehicles.
Featuring both fire-and-forget and man-in-the-loop operation, network-enabled MMP also receives third party target designation for indirect firing scenarios.
MMP’s design includes the growth potential necessary for a future family of missiles for modern land combat.
MMP will replace the Milan and Javelin anti-tank missiles in service with the French Army and special forces from 2017. Taking into account the battle experience gained from recent conflicts in which the French Army has been engaged, MMP is a response to the demands that have been expressed in terms of required capabilities: firing from confined spaces, “fire-and-forget”, and self-guidance with a “man-in-the-loop” facility.
- Lightweight weapon system, easily man-portable
- High level of day and night, all-weather reconnaissance and identification capability
- Confined space firing capability
- Weight (incl. Tube) : 15 kg
- Length : 1.3 m in tactical canister
- Diameter : 140 mm
- Range : 4.000 m
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.
CM3 MR: Uncooled Integrated Sensors Sight?
Sighting system on RWS – Armée de Terre
CM3 MR provides an affordable, silent and reliable solution for land and naval applications.
CM3 MR enhances observation and firing capabilities through image fusion and stabilization, ultra wide FOV, continuous motionless zooming capability and ballistic computer.
CM3 MR is designed for remote weapon stations, direct fire for Armoured Fighting Vehicles and howitzers, as well as surveillance systems.
• Weight: ≤ 8.8kg
• Dimensions: 253 x 250 x 210 mm
• Operates silently
• Waveband: 8 to 12µm (uncooled)
• Fields of view (H): 13.6° & 4.5° (640×480)
12° & 4° (384×288)
• NETD: ≤ 50mK at ambient temperature
(with image processing)
Visible color channel
• Continuous motionless zoom from 2.4° to 12°
(2.4° to 40° optional)
Laser Range Finder
• Wavelength: 1.54µm, full eye-safe (class1)
• Typical range: > 5km
• Power supply: external 18 to 32V, (MIL-STD 1275B)
• Consumption: 30W
• Video output: CCIR/PAL
• Remote control: RS422
• Climatic: -33°C to +60°C
• Qualified according to MIL-STD 810 & MIL-STD 461
• Continuous e-zoom up to x8
• Noise reduction
• Day/night image fusion
• Image stabilization
• Optional embedded ballistic computer
• Remote monitor & control panel
The remote weapon station is coupled with METRAVIB’s SLATE acoustic sniper localisation system.
Metravib Pilar V acoustic sensor
PILAR vehicle version is designed for the protection of heavy and light armoured vehicles, as well as police armoured vehicles. It is available as a tetrahedral acoustic array mounted on the vehicle roof. It can also include a display indicating the shot origin and identification.
Real time threat monitoring
- Provides GPS coordinates and identification of the threats
- Good accuracy for determining the shot origin:
- Azimuth: ±2°
- Elevation: ±3°
- Range: ±10%
- Operating during fighting attacks with multiple threats such as Small Arm Fires, RPGs and Mortars.
The Griffon VOA artillery observation vehicle variant incorporates Safran’s Paseo new-generation electro-optical system.
Safran’s Paseo new-generation electro-optical system
Relying on its unique expertise in inertial and infrared technologies, Safran Electronics & Defense designed PASEO, the latest-generation of advanced panoramic sight to improve the survivability and fighting capabilities of the Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) and Main Battle Tanks (MBT). Highly versatile, PASEO is perfectly suited to 30-125 mm Gunner and Commander’s applications as well as Forward Observation Artillery. Effective day and night, it provides a true “fire-on-the-move” capability, with a high first round hit probability, whether on static or moving targets.
Designed to meet the various requirements of modern warfare, symmetric and asymmetric, PASEO provides unique features to increase the situation awareness for armored and surveillance vehicles Source safran-electronics-defense.com
Consisting of an inertial navigator and high-resolution sensors, the optronic system also provides surveillance, artillery observation, fire control and geolocation information.
Thales describes Antares as a “real-time day and night local awareness and softkill” for combat vehicles. The single payload provides 360° situation awareness and features an integrated laser warning system capable of providing self-protection against close-in threats; rear view and driving aids; and an external view for mounted soldiers ahead of egress from the vehicle. The laser warning system is capable of detecting laser range finders operating at 1.54 nm and 1.06 nm with threat localisation of less than 2°. An optional acoustic gunshot detection system is being considered for integration in the future. Source janes.com
Thales’ Antares – arronlee33
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.
Scorpion Combat Information System (SICS)
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.
Independent hydro-strut suspension system – Armée de Terre
The vehicle is expected to be fitted with an automatic transmission and independent hydro-strut suspension systems.
DXi 13-liter engine?
Main material source army-technology.com
Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated
Main image Armée de Terre