On 4 December 2020, during a visit to the Integrated Structure for Maintaining Land Equipment in Operational Condition (SIMMT) at the Roanne site, Nexter teams will present the first four regenerated armoured infantry fighting vehicles (VBCI). This meeting is also an opportunity to highlight Nexter’s work in fleet support.
Since 2013, the VBCI in-service support contract (MSS) has linked the Nexter industrial prime contractor and the French Army. It is one of the four support contracts in place, alongside the Leclerc, CAESAR and AMX 10RC contracts. Through the VBCI MSS, Nexter provides fixed-price spare parts, equipment repairs, obsolescences monitoring, long-term vehicle configuration management, fixed-price support for the VBCIs present in the training parks (Champagne and Provence) and technical assistance. At the request of the SIMMT, Nexter has been entrusted with a new regeneration service for around fifty VBCIs for the next two years. All the vehicles concerned have returned from external operations or exercises abroad; they have been used in extreme weather conditions, on rough terrain and require numerous interventions.
As of November 2019, an industrial organization has been set up. A technical condition report will first of all make it possible to identify damage to the vehicles stored in Gien (12th Material Support Base) in order to draw up individual estimates and identify the exhaustiveness of the spares to be replaced. Customer orders then launch the start of the work. The VBCIs are routed by Nexter to the Roanne site for handling. In a workshop dedicated to MCO VBCI activities, the fitters replace the broken or worn components, carry out a complete cleaning and carry out an in-depth repair of the equipment – at NTI level 3 (technical intervention level) – to give it a new lease of life. Then, the machines are subjected to numerous static and dynamic tests comparable to those initially applied at the end of the assembly line, before being presented for verification operations. Arriving in Roanne in June 2020, the first four regenerated VBCIs were presented on time to the administration on November 23, 2020, according to the schedule set jointly with the SIMMT.
Lilian Braylé, Director of Customer Services, emphasizes the importance of regenerations for the Roanne site’s activity: “These represent an annual workload of more than 20,000 hours worked, the equivalent of 15 full-time jobs (FTE). Moreover, meeting deadlines within a tight time frame and despite the health crisis is proof of the flexibility and excellence of Nexter’s know-how in terms of MCO.”
General Olivier Cornefert, deputy operations manager for the SIMMT central director, specifies that “in a context of strong operational commitment by VBCIs in the Sahel-Saharan band and in the Baltic countries, Nexter’s industrial response to the SIMMT’s requests has been particularly effective. The regenerations carried out through this market enable infantry regiments to have their major combat vehicles available to continue their training.”
Photo courtesy Nexter