On June 11, 2020, the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) received the VT4 Batch 8 of Standard 2 at the Arquus site in Saint-Nazaire. This batch brings the number of VT4 Standard 2s delivered in 2020 to 300. The first batch delivered since the official resumption of production activities in Saint-Nazaire, it illustrates the rapid ramp-up of Arquus’ industrial tool, as well as determination of the teams to respect the planned delivery schedule.
During the health crisis linked to COVID-19, deliveries of VT4 could continue thanks to a dedicated team that was kept on site and was responsible for carrying out finishing work and making vehicles available to the armed forces. This team enabled the delivery to the DGA quality assurance service of two lots of 100 vehicles each at the height of the crisis, in late March 2020. These vehicles were thus able to be delivered to the armies in liaison with the SIMMT (Structure Intégrée du Maintien en condition opérationnelle des Matériels Terrestres, integrated structure for land equipment maintenance and overhaul) and to reinforce the assets used for the operations on the national territory.
Since April 3, the recovery on site has been carried out gradually, at the rate of ten employees per day, in order to allow everyone to receive a complete training on the new protocols implemented and thus guarantee the security of all.
This process now allows the site to reach almost nominal capacities, while 250 employees have already resumed their activities. In addition to the production of VT4, Saint-Nazaire is currently in charge of Private Industrial Repairs (RIP) of TRM2000 French Army trucks.
These efforts to restart for the benefit of the armies are now fully bearing fruit. The Régiment d’Infanterie de Marine du Pacifique – Nouvelle Calédonie (RIMaP-NC, or Pacific Naval Infantry Regiment – New Caledonia) recently received 30 VT4 Standard 2, along with 15 refurbished TRM2000. The VT4 is now present in units all over the national territory, including DROM-COM (overseas French territories).
The latest batches of VT4 vehicles take into account in their production the lessons learned collected since 2018 in order to guarantee them the highest level of maturity. The VT4 Standard 2 is a ground-up vehicle, accomplished, appreciated by all staff for its comfort, mobility, safety and modernity.
With the delivery of Batch 8 some 1,300 VT4s, all standards combined, have been issued to the forces since October 11, 2018 and the first deliveries of vehicles to the 12ème Régiment de Cuirassiers d’Olivet. A total of 4,380 VT4s should equip the armies, i.e. 3,080 vehicles remaining to be produced at the Arquus site in Saint-Nazaire. The French Army is due to receive 3,980 VT4s, the rest being intended for the Air Force, the French Navy, the Armed Forces Fuel Service and the Joint Ammunition Service.
The VT4 is a light and versatile 4×4 command and liaison vehicle, unarmoured, designed to carry 5 soldiers or 4 combatants equipped with the FELIN system. It is intended for internal operations and training, or for external operations in so-called stabilized conflict zones.
The VT4 Standard 2 incorporates 350 new additional features, and presents many evolutions compared to standard 1: integration of means of communication, location and navigation, additional gallery, vehicle towing function, and blackout lights. The VT4 Standard 2 is also designed to be air transportable, to give it an additional dimension of tactical mobility.
The VT4 programme includes an integrated and innovative service package, provided by ARQUUS, with a firm commitment to operational technical availability across the entire fleet.
Unofficial translation by EDR On-Line
Photos courtesy Arquus and RIMaP-NC