By Pierre Tran
Paris – Arquus, a French military vehicle builder, unveiled June 8 a virtual tour of a stand planned for Eurosatory, a trade show for land weapons, cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.
The company, a unit of the Swedish Volvo truck company, launched its line of Armis military trucks, key in Arquus’s effort to retain pole position in light and medium vehicles for the French army.
Arquus will pitch its Armis range of four, six and eight-wheel drive trucks in a competition expected to be launched around September or October, to replace an aging fleet of some 10,000 vehicles in the GBC and TRM product lines.
Some of those trucks will continue to be operated alongside the new vehicles.
The French army requirement is for 7,020 trucks by 2030, an industry source said.
Some €2 billion has been earmarked for the trucks, website La Tribune reported.
“Mobile and resistant, they are adapted for long deployment, complex missions and lower service requirement,” Arquus said in a June 8 statement on the sales launch of Armis.
The company has built the eight-wheel drive version of the Armis, and the four and six-wheel drive variants will be ready for presentation in September, a company spokesman said.
There will likely be strong foreign competition, with offers expected from Iveco, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Mercedes, and Scania.
Arquus is also promoting its Scarabée light armored vehicle. The company is due to pitch this vehicle in an expected competition to replace the French army’s VBL scout car. The company has spent several million euros of own funds in developing the Armis and Scarabée.
Meanwhile, Nexter, KMW and Rheinmetall signed a vital contract on a joint architecture study for the Main Ground Combat System, a Franco-German project aimed at replacing the Leclerc and Leopard 2 tanks with a network of manned and unmanned combat vehicles.
The three companies set up a working group in December 2019, and signed a contract with the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support for a system architecture definition study – part 1, the industrial partners said a May 25 statement.
The companies signed the agreement May 12.
The German federal office signed on behalf of France and Germany.
“This contract sounds the industrial starting gun for (an) MGCS demonstration phase,” the companies said.
The study will develop the concept of MGCS, building on work conducted at the national level, seeking to arrive at a common “multi-platform” architecture.
The first phase of the architecture study is due to run for 20 months, leading to a technology demonstrator by 2024, followed by a full system demonstrator between 2024-2027, an industry executive said.
The study will be shared equally between France and Germany on a 50:50 basis, and will be conducted “under German political leadership,” the companies said.
MGCS will effectively be designed as the land version of Future Air Combat System, with a mix of manned and unmanned vehicles, all hooked up to a common network.
The new vehicles will be expected to meet operational needs of French and German armies, and be compatible with the Scorpion modernization program of the former and Digitization of Land-Based Operations (D-LBO) of the latter, the companies said.
Nexter will be prime contractor for France, assigning subcontracts of the French work, while KMW and Rheinmetall will share out the German 50 percent share.
Arquus will watch with close interest the subcontracts, having invested in hybrid diesel and electric-powered military vehicles.
Coges, the show organizer of Eurosatory, has arranged an internet platform for business-to-business video conferences on Sept. 14-15, the Coges spokeswoman said. The online presentation is in response to a poll of members of Gicat, the trade association for land weapons.
The video conferences will be organized by Proximum, which specializes in exhibitions.
The Eurosatory exhibition had been scheduled to open on June 8, but the spread of Covid-19 forced its cancellation.
The next Eurosatory show will be in 2022.
Editor’s Note: According to an article published by Armada International on June 8, 2020, the new Armis range of trucks will provide several innovations of value to the ground forces,
“The trucks of the new ARMIS range are fitted with recent technologies, adapted to the operational needs and proven in the most demanding situations. These technologies, developed in Arquus’ R&D centers, provide the ARMIS 4×4, 6×6 and 8×8 with optimal mobility on all grounds, limited fuel consumption and very high resistance, which guarantee optimal uptime and low cost of ownership…
“The ARMIS can be equipped with the automation solutions currently being developed by ARQUUS, such as platooning and automatic convoys. They may be fitted with the Group’s most innovative solutions in the fields of energy optimization and maintenance…. They simplify the necessary logistics and reduce the maintenance needs.”
The featured graphic is credited to this source as well.