On 8 December, France’s Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian visited the RENAULT TRUCKS Defense factory in Fourchambault (Nièvre), celebrating ten years of successful outsourcing on a military base in the process of closure. During this visit, he announced that the unprotected light passenger vehicle (VLTP-NP) contract had been awarded to RTD.
Ten years ago RENAULT TRUCKS Defense took over the site of the 15th BSMAT, a military equipment support base, to make it its CMCO (Centre de Maintien en Condition Opérationnelle – operational readiness centre). The site has acquired recognised expertise in equipment regeneration, in particular through its experience reconditioning VABs returning from operations.
Moreover, the CMCO plant has become for three years the production’s excellency centre for all the RENAULT TRUCKS Defense’ s most recent ranges armoured hulls, as the SHERPA, the VAB Mark 3 and the BASTION.
The CMCO now has close to 300 employees and is preparing to become the logistics hub for all the components and spare parts for Griffon and Jaguar, the vehicles in the Scorpion programme manufactured by the short-term joint venture made up of Nexter Systems, Thales and RENAULT TRUCKS Defense.
During the visit, the Minister of Defence was presented with the future special forces vehicles, special forces heavy vehicles (PLFS – Poids Lourd des Forces Spéciales), the first 25 of which will be available at the end of December, and the special forces light vehicle, which is still in the design stage.
In addition, he announced that at the end of a competitive tendering process which mobilised the RTD teams for several months, a contract to acquire 3,700 unprotected light transport vehicles (VLTP NP) and to supply their support system would be rapidly confirmed.
3700 vehicles will be manufactured on the Saint-Nazaire site over a period of over four years, which will ensure regular activity in this plant and thus optimise production.
It is the militarization of a reinforced civilian vehicle base (hardening the chassis and suspension in particular) of a station wagon type, on which RTD will incorporate the operational elements – weapons, radio. Delivery of the first vehicles is scheduled for 2017.
Vehicle support will be provided by the RENAULT TRUCKS Defense.