The French defense General Armament Directorate (DGA) Ministry of Defense awarded Nexter a contract for the development, procurement, and support of the Light, Multirole Armored Vehicle (VBMR-L). The new 4×4 vehicle is part of Project Scorpion, the French Army modernization program, slated to replace the VAB currently in service with the French Army by the early 2020s.
The Nexter Group will be responsible for the design to cost and performance, integration, production, and support of the lightweight VBMR. The vehicle will be assembled in Roanne, alongside the other vehicles of the Scorpion program – the VBMR-GRIFFON and EBRC-JAGUAR, all manufactured under a French defense industry consortium consisting of Nexter, Thales, and Renault Trucks Defense). The contract also included an award for the development of a transmission axles systems by Texelis, a designer, and manufacturer of axles and transmissions for large heavy-duty vehicles.
As the other vehicles produced under the Scorpion program – VBMR-Griffon and EBRC-Jaguar, VBMR-L will be produced by a consortium that includes Nexter, Thales, and Renault Trucks Defense. The first batch of VBMR-L vehicles funded by the current order covers the development, production, and induction of 689 vehicles by 2025, additional orders could bring the French VBMR-L to 2,000 by 2030. Initial deliveries of VBMR-L are expected by 2022.
The 15-ton vehicle is designed to carry 10 troops. The lightweight VBMR-L will be deployed in several configurations will be fielded, including a Troop Carrier, Scout (ISR), Communications and Electronic Warfare (EW), Ambulance, Command, and artillery fire direction vehicles. The vehicle will be equipped with remotely operated weapon station as a standard, and employ the modern Scorpion Information & Communications System (SIC-S) networking system to fully integrate with the Scorpion combined arms formation.