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All the keys to how the engineers’s future armored vehicle could be for the French army

The growing importance of highly protected technical resources for current conflict scenarios, especially in populated areas, has led French industry to develop a new vehicle for their army or Arme de Terre. Two companies from this country, Texelis, specializing in chassis and suspension systems, and CNIM, which provides numerous systems to the combat engineers at Arme de Terre (Gnie), have come together to propose the future Gnie vehicle, which will be the ones currently in existence will replace service.

Arme de Terre took the MPG loader (Matriaux Polivalent du Gnie) out of active service in 2005 due to insufficient protection. The next vehicle to be retired is the VAB (Vhicule de lAvant Blind) Gnie, the special version of that outdated 4×4 APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) that will be replaced in infantry units with the new 6×6 Griffon Gnie starting in 2025 to end the process. After all, the operating life of the EBG (Engin Blind du Gnie), which is based on the chassis of the AMX-30 battle tank, is also due to end in 2030.

With this in mind, representatives from the two companies mentioned above, General Denis Parmentier, CNIM’s military advisor, and Jean Vandel of Texelis, pointed out that 60% of Arm de Terres are victims in a virtual conference organized by Defense iQ in mid-February International operations in recent years have included members of the combat technology teams traveling in VAB Gnie, whose protection against mines and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device) is clearly outdated.

The SCORPION program is currently Phase 1, APC Griffons shipments have already started, and the first Jaguar reconnaissance vehicles will enter service this year. Arme de Terre is also to receive, among other things, the MAC (Moyen Contact Support), the engineers’ new vehicle.

Although the second phase of the program has not yet started, the CNIM / Texelis team believes that a possible official call could be made in late 2021 or early 2022. The requirements for this can be summarized in five main points. The same mobility of the current APC and AIFV fleets that can be transported in A400M aircraft, a high level of protection, a balance between engineering skills and weight, and simplified logistics and maintenance. The choice of wheels ensures a higher operating speed while reducing weight. The poor de Terre traditionally preferred mobility, but now protection has also become a key factor. Thanks to the collaboration with Texelis, we are now proposing a wheeled vehicle concept for pioneers that will ensure the same mobility that older tracked vehicles (EBGs) provide, General Parmentier claimed.

According to CNIM manager Xavier Montazel ​​on the EDR (European Defense Review) website, the new medium will have an 8×8 chassis with the driver’s cab heavily protected in the middle. The vehicle body reaches its full width behind the cab, from where the driver has a 180 ° field of view and drives the main shovel. The other two crew members (the commander and the gunner) sit on the left side of the vehicle. The shooter will have a 360-degree view, have several electro-optical sensors distributed in the vehicle and also operate a remote-controlled weapon station for self-defense, which may be the so-called T2 RCWS (Remote Controlled Weapon Station) by Arquus for the SCORPION- Program armed with a 7.62mm machine gun.

The MAC hull is made of steel, which provides basic level 2 protection in accordance with STANAG 4569. In addition to the complementary kits, it can be increased to level 4. It can also be equipped with mesh armor against the threat of grenade launchers or grenade launchers. Role playing game. Ballistic protection and CBRN (chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear) protection will also be available. Precise data on my and IED protection were not provided. Although it is an asset dedicated to those who are most exposed to such threats, it can be assumed that the new technical vehicle will offer maximum protection in this area too, with possible complementary solutions.

One of the most important requirements is also the earthmoving ability of this vehicle. Thanks to its full-width front scoop, it can set up a 100-meter defensive firing position in 20 hours. The excavator side arm, the maximum extension of which was not intended, is equipped with a shovel and works on the right side of the vehicle up to 3/4 of the front, but can also work in the front arch if the front shovel is removed. The bucket can be replaced with other tools, one of which can be carried under the arm while the other is ultimately placed on a trailer. A hydraulic winch is also installed at the rear.

Speaking of mobility: the chassis is designed for an independent suspension system. The new technical vehicle is powered by a diesel engine with an output of around 600 hp, which can be operated with diesel fuel and can reach a maximum road speed of 80 km / h with a range of 600 km at this speed. The vehicle will have three steering axles, the front two and the rear, the latter rotating in opposite directions at low speed to reduce the turning radius and being able to negotiate a 50% incline at the front and a 10% incline. facing sideways. . The MAC can pull a 14 ton trailer.

As part of the SCORPION program, the vehicle could use developments in various areas and be equipped with many of the systems already installed in phase 1 vehicles, such as the Thales Antares 360 Athena vision system with integrated laser warning function the future, missile detection functions – Thales also offers the active anti-IED blocker Eclipse, while Metravib provides the Acoustic Shot Detector or SLA (Systme de Localization Acoustique).

The MAC proposed by the CNIM / Texelis team will have a combat weight of 28 tons. Its shape allows it to be moved on a platform on the road when long distances need to be covered, by train, it adapts to the European railroad size, while for long distance operations it can be transported in an A400M aircraft, although this is the case Case is. it is you need to disassemble, remove the pan and the additional guards. However, you can fly on board an Antonov An-124, ready to fly. (Julio Maz Sanz)

Photography: Digital image of the MAC engineers’ vehicle in operation. (CNIM photo)

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