Like many NATO armed forces, France has decided to radically rebuild its armored units in response to the war in Ukraine. The changes are substantial.
The French arms company Roanne belonging to the Nexter concern will produce literally all kinds of armored vehicles in the coming years. While a few years ago it significantly reduced production and had only about 700 employees, it is currently more than twice as many. The biggest reason is the war in Ukraine, which also forced the French armed forces to react to the situation and prepare for possible future threats. The increase in production capacity concerns tanks and various types of armored vehicles, 450 of which must leave the factory every year.
The French arms industry is growing
By 2015, Roanne Armory had 700 employees, and the numbers have continued to drop, but it currently has 1,500, with more likely to be added. The company has contracts for the modernization of the French armed forces, especially for military vehicles. However, he also needs to be careful significant modernization of the French Leclerc main battle tanks. According to the plans of the local army, 200 of them will be upgraded to the XLR version. Their defense will be strengthened, they will receive a new fire control system and battlefield, as well as a remote-controlled weapon station with a machine gun.
The plant currently produces, for example, the VBCI infantry fighting vehicle, which is an 8×8 wheeled chassis equipped with a 25 mm cannon and a coaxial machine gun. It has a crew of 4 and a landing place for 8 soldiers, but provides protection only against 14.5 millimeter bullets. Another vehicle manufactured by the armory is the MRAP Nexter Aravis reconnaissance vehicle, which can carry a group of up to 6 soldiers and can be equipped with a weapon station of up to a caliber of up to 20 millimeters.
Griffins and Jaguars make up the bulk of the order
However, Roanne should focus on more modern designs. The first is an EBRC Jaguar armored reconnaissance vehicle with a crew of three, equipped with a 40 millimeter cannon and Akeron MP anti-tank missiles. But even this can only withstand bullets of caliber up to 14.5 millimeters. The second is the modern French VBMR Griffon armored vehicles for transporting a group of 8 soldiers. With Jaguar, this system has about 70 percent common parts. In addition, France sent these vehicles, for example, to Estonia as part of NATO forces to help protect the eastern flank of the alliance.
The armory should also produce the VBMR-L Serval vehicle, which is actually a reduced four-wheel drive variant of the Griffon. In the coming years, the French armed forces should receive more than 1,800 pieces of the aforementioned vehicles, but there is also interest in them in other countries. The fact that the armored forces in NATO countries are being significantly modernized is also underlined by the interest of the Czech or Slovak army in new infantry fighting vehicles, which should be the Swedish CV90, or the Polish purchases of new tanks and 1400. parts of Borsuk infantry fighting vehicles.