Arquus and Nexter: a first step reached for the VBAE

Montrouge, December 6, 2023 – The consortium between Arquus and Nexter, a company of KNDS; and the Organisation for Joint Armaments Cooperation (OCCAR) have signed the pre-design contract for the VBAE (Véhicule Blindé d’Aide à l’Engagement).

OCCAR, the European intergovernmental procurement agency responsible for cooperative defense contracts management, has been entrusted with setting up and managing the program. This signing marks the first step towards converging of the operational requirements and architecture of this future armored vehicle, whose development and production are expected within the French and Belgian armies as of 2030.

The VBAE is the result of a close collaboration between industry, OCCAR and the customer nations in order to replace, for France, the VBL (Light Armoured Vehicle) which is in service within the French forces since the late 1980s. For Belgium, the VBAE represents an additional step in the development of its motorized capacity by reinforcing its reconnaissance and command and control capabilities. The VBAE will be a versatile system suitable for many types of missions. A strong emphasis will be place on essential performances of mobility, stealth, protection, and fire function. It will combine compactness and optimized payload capacity.

The project’s realization will be ensured by the Consortium consisting of the lead contractor Arquus and its co-contractor Nexter, which will subcontract some of its activities to the Belgian company John Cockerill Defense (JCD). This partnership, initiated from the pre-design phase, marks the desire for Franco-Belgian industrial cooperation on a major armaments program.

The VBAE program is perfectly consistent with the FAMOUS project sustained by the European Defence Fund (EDF) financed by the European Commission. FAMOUS (Future highly mobile Augmented ArMOUred Systems) covers the development of innovative technological blocks common to future European armored vehicles. Arquus, Nexter, and JCD are major partners in this FAMOUS project.

The launch of the VBAE project marks the advent of an ambitious and innovative cooperation. The Arquus, Nexter and JCD teams are fully committed and confident in the success of this undertaking/project.

Photo courtesy Arquus/Nexter