November 23, 2020 – On 13 November 2020, the French Delegation for Armaments (DGA) qualified the command post vehicle (EPC) variant of the GRIFFON vehicle. At the same time, the first examples are being submitted for acceptance by the DGA’s quality department at the Roanne site. Therefore, the three first GRIFFON EPC have been delivered to the Army technical section (STAT) which will continue the operational evaluation of this equipment with its rapid deployment within the regiments in sight. The GME (temporary grouping of companies) EBMR (Engins Blindés Multi-Rôles) comprised of Nexter, Arquus and Thales is fully mobilized on the production of the first 20 series GRIFFON EPCs to be presented to verification operations by the end of 2020. Ultimately, the SCORPION program calls for the acquisition of 333 units of this variant, half of which will be delivered by 2025. As a reminder, the SCORPION program aims to modernize the Army’s combat capabilities and in particular to improve command through new information resources.
The GRIFFON EPC can accommodate a pilot and a gunner in the front, and five soldiers in the rear of the vehicle. From an external point of view, the silhouette of the EPC does not differ from the VTT Félin variant (troop transport vehicle). Only the armament changes, with the integration on the roof of a new-generation T2 remotely operated turret armed with a 7.62mm caliber. Inside, on the other hand, the GRIFFON EPC is fully equipped to accommodate a command post: communication means, large screens, a board and a printer. This variant is designed to accommodate latest-generation electronic equipment for collaborative combat: the vetronics common to the SCORPION platforms, the CONTACT joint radio, the SCORPION Combat Information System (SICS), the ANTARES optronic system offering the crew a 360° vision of the environment, as well as a gunfire location detector (or SLA, for Acoustic Localization System). In addition, the air-conditioning system adapts to all environments to guarantee crew’s comfort and the proper functioning of onboard electronics.
Thanks to its level of protection and mobility, the EPC variant of the GRIFFON enables a command post to be deployed quickly at the heart of operations. The force commander can thus conduct an engagement or monitor the progress of a regimental or brigade-level action. The arrival of the GRIFFON EPC is complementary to the GRIFFON VTT Félin, with the goal of projecting a joint battle group (GTIA) into a foreign theatre of operations by 2021.
Stéphane Mayer is delighted, on behalf of the GME formed by the three companies Arquus, Thales and Nexter (of which he is Chairman and CEO), that this new milestone has been reached on time: “this qualification marks a new stage in the modernization of the French Army’s equipment”.
Photo courtesy GME EBMR