23 May 2019
By Paolo Valpolini
Celebrating the first birthday of the rebranded company in a historical location, where French car pilots started training in the mid 1920’s, and talking technology and innovation in that very site made much sense, Emmanuel Levacher underlined in its opening speech at the 2019 edition of the company TechnoDays, which took place at the historical Linas-Montlhéry autodrome south of Paris, and close to the Marolles plant that for years hosted the Panhard company, now part of Arquus.
“TechnoDays allow underlining the importance of innovation, especially in the defence field,” Levacher said in his opening remarks. “It also allows us to show what Arquus is doing in terms of innovation, and to do it in very concrete terms with physical demonstrations, both static and dynamic,” he added. Arquus’ CEO underlined that the company is working on different technological topics that it aims to put to fruition in relatively short times. “For a company like ours innovating is not an option, it’s a must, because we must remain ahead of our worldwide competitors, because we must be capable to provide systems to our customers at the best price, so innovation which makes sense also in economic terms, we must increase the equipment operational availability, support and maintenance are an integral part of the business, and last but not least we must be capable to conquer new markets.”
Arquus can rely on its parent group, Volvo, in terms of capabilities: “we had yesterday a meeting on innovation,” Levacher said, “and Volvo is working ardently on technological bricks which can be exploited in the defence business, such as i.e. vehicle’s automation, electromobility, and connectivity, therefore we can get off the shelf those technologies that we must then adapt to military use. Beyond the group R&D capability we have our own R&D Department with some 500 engineers and technicians, an internal R&D budget of around 20 million Euro per year, to which we must add funds part of programmes from the French DGA or from other French or foreign entities.”
Emmanuel Chiva, the Director of the French Defence Innovation Agency, presented the view of what has become the single entry point into the governmental innovation business, making things much easier for all the actors performing in this field.
The 2019 TechnoDays were presenting the main technology development axis of Arquus, vehicle’s architecture, mobility and energy, robotisation, survivability, electronic architecture, fire support, and maintenance and logistic support.
“I would like to stress again that our research is pragmatic, it does not look very far away, and it is also a collaborative business, we work with other companies of different sizes, laboratories, schools, we recently launched a partnership with ENSTA ParisTech University, as well as with the big major State agencies,” Arquus’ CEO concludes. The company also participates in programmes financed by the European Defence Fund, in order to maintain also a European approach.
The two days event allowed Arquus to dedicate three half-days to all those that interact with the company on various programmes, the attendance including uniformed officers, representatives of governmental agencies, of other defence companies, consultants, and Academia. Static displays were showing the latest developments, some still in their infancy, while the Scarabee, the 4×4 light armoured scout vehicle unveiled at Eurosatory 2018 was exhibited for the first time in public on the move. A cross-country test track has been developed recently around the autodrome, Arquus exploiting it to invite its guests to test its Trigger and Trapper 4×4 unarmoured cross country vehicles, the latter having been acquired in numbers by the French Army which named it VT4, a test of armoured vehicles including the latest products of the company, VAB Mark 3, Fortress, Bastion and Sherpa Light also expecting guests, however on a paved surface.
This text wants to be just an appetizer: subarticles dedicated to the many topics exhibited at Arquus’ Technodays will be published in the coming days. Happy TechnoBirthday Arquus!
Photos by Arquus and Paolo Valpolini