French Army; the Scorpion is ready to sting

By Paolo Valpolini

The annual briefing on the French Army Scorpion programme took place December 9th in Paris, and allowed to get deeper in what is allowing the French Army to make a quantum jump into a new era, the “Scorpion Era”, that will be dominated by the cooperative combat approach, exploiting the exchange of information provided by the new Command Information Systems (CIS), known as SIC-S (Système d’Information du Combat Scorpion). This is the core of Scorpion, although it is much less visible than new armoured vehicles, such as the Griffon, already delivered, the Jaguar, which will be delivered next year, and other that will follow.

Transforming a huge part of the Army in terms of CIS and vehicles, and adapting the remaining part in terms of CIS in order to make it compatible with Scorpion units, is not easy task. The briefing allowed not only to get first hand impressions from company commanders, and to get a view of the programme status from the DGA perspective, but also to understand which tools have been created by the Armée de Terre to facilitate this transformation process that will bring a first unit equipped with Griffon APCs and the SIC-S to soon deploy downrange, making it the first French contingent to enter in action with the new system. While in the actual briefing the speaker with the “boots on the ground” came last, we preferred giving him the word first, in order to pick up immediately which are the advantages provided by Scorpion that have been felt on the field.

1 – Scorpion, experience from the field

2 – The Scorpion programme status; the DGA view

3 – A phased introduction in service; the view from the Army Staff

4 – From legacy to the future; Scorpion seen from the Land Forces Command

5 – Experimentation, doctrine and training; the role of the FECS