One month before the start of Eurosatory, Arquus takes stock of its results and prospects during a press conference.

Aude Leroy

Arquus, which prides itself on supplying 90% of the French Army’s wheeled vehicles, has two “surprises” in store for the opening of Eurosatory, the benchmark land defence exhibition that will take place next June at the Parc des Expositions in Villepinte, north of Paris.

These will be “an unmanned ground vehicle and a new 4×4 armoured vehicle,” Emmanuel Levacher, the company President and CEO, announced. In the meantime, Arquus is relishing having won, as part of a call for tender from the French DGA, a contract for 70 new generation tank trucks for the Armed Forces, after a major competition with three other manufacturers. The contract amounts to more than 120 million euros and deliveries are planned by 2029. A second tranche should follow.

click on image to enlarge

With a 2023 turnover of 577 million euros, an increase of almost 5% compared to the previous year, Arquus delivered 485 new vehicles including the Bastion armoured vehicle, which attracted Armenia and Chile. Despite these contracts, “we were quite weak in exports in 2023,” regrets Emmanuel Levacher, who makes it a challenge to seriously take up for the months to come. The CEO of Arquus imagines that if the purchase of his capital by the Belgian industrial group John Cockerill takes place as planned by the end of the summer, this sale “will allow us to change dimension […]” and he expects “a boost in exports thanks to the pooling of our networks”.

In the meantime, Arquus is working on the FAMOUS 2 project (Future Highly Mobile Augmented ArMOUred Systems), supported by the European Defence Fund (EDF), financed by the European Commission, this programme running until 2026. The objective is to develop innovative technological bricks common to future European armoured vehicles. FAMOUS 2 will thus benefit from the Franco-Belgian VBAE programme for an Armoured Engagement Support Vehicle, the successor to the VBL, the well-known Light Armored Vehicle. FAMOUS 2, managed by OCCAR, brings together around twenty participants from fifteen European countries, responsible for pre-designing these technological building blocks. “The EDF wants to push European manufacturers to work together,” Emmanuel Levacher explains, “to go beyond their logic of competition, and it will work,” he says happily.

Photos courtesy Arquus and J. Roukoz

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