The French Army is set to receive first of Griffon vehicles of combat vehicle command post configuration by the end of 2020.
The Griffon is one of the three key new vehicles of the “Scorpion programme” launched in 2014, along with the Jaguar and the Serval. They are intended to replace the army’s 2,661-strong Véhicule de l’avant blindé (VAB) fleet, which has been in service since 1978.
A consortium of Nexter, Thales, and Renault Trucks Defense is building the Griffon 6x6 vehicles. The consortium is contractually obliged to keep the price per Griffon under €1 million ($1.1 million).
According to the Army's 2020 Defense White Paper, it had originally planned to buy up to 2,122 VBMR vehicles (1,722 VBMR 6x6 Griffon and 400 VBMR 4x4 vehicles) between 2018 and 2025. France has placed an order for four variants of the multi-role armored vehicles in the first tranche: armored personnel carrier (APC), command post, ambulance, and artillery observer.
On Thursday, defense ministry said 92 Griffon APC units were delivered to the Army last year.
In July 2019, French Minister of Armed Forces, Florence Parly stated an additional order for 150 more will be placed. This contract will take the total to 1,872 6x6 Griffon vehicles.
The Griffon is equipped with a remote weapons station (RWS) that can be armed with either a 12.7mm or 7.62mm machine gun, or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. The addition of two MMP anti-tank guided missiles is optional. Eight launchers for smoke grenades are fitted to the RWS, which also includes an acoustic sniper localization system.