Positioned to be the leading provider for the ERBC, Panhard developed a technology demonstrator called Sphinx with internal funds, introducing an ERBC representative prototype enabling the company and the French defense establishment to study the operational functions of the ERBC. The Sphinx was the only candidate shown publicly at Eurosatory 2010. Unlike Nexter and Renault, aiming to compete for more than one platform of the Scorpion program, Panhard visions only at the ERBC, leaving the rest of the competition to other rivals.
The company has been identified with armored scout cars for many years. The Sphinx follows the general design of Panhard’s past armored scout vehicles – such as the 8×8 EBR, 6×6 ERC-90 and 4×4 AML-90. Beyond the promotion of Panhard’s offering, Sphinx also provides a risk reduction program, demonstrating the maturity of innovative technologies and solutions suggested for the program, providing an integration platform.
Maintaining its predecessor’s Rapid Intervention role, the 6×6 Sphinx is designed for a combat-ready gross vehicle weight of 17 tons, supporting air mobility with C-130 and A400M. It offers significantly enhanced protection level, with V shaped hull, canted sides and all-round counter-RPG slat armor, the armor suite offering STANAG 4569 Level 5 ballistic, IED and mine protection. The vehicle uses a new Cockerill CT40 manned turret designed by CTI, mounting a stabilized 40mm Case Telescoped Weapon System from CTAI. The turret also carries four extended-range precision- attack missiles (MLP) providing precision strike capability beyond visual range. Additional weapons include eight Galix countermeasure launchers and a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun. Sphinx is powered by a 12 cylinder 600 hp diesel coupled to an automatic 6 speed gearbox with 1/2 reduction. All six wheels are steerable. The vehicle has a power to weight ratio of 35 hp/tons, offering good off-road mobility and high acceleration on paved road, reaching a maximum speed of 110 km/h.