Gearing for the French Army next big program, vehicle manufacturers at Eurosatory were hopeful to learn about the defense ministry’s selection of the Scorpion system architect, a decision that would have set the program in motion. However, Scorpion, among other French military modernization initiatives fell prey to a 5 billion euro cut in government spending, leaving long lead programs stranded until budget is released. Eurosatory 2010 provided vehicle manufacturers an opportunity t showcase their designs but the sudden delay caused some to tone down their exposure.
Renault and Nexter have brought Scorpion-related vehicles (EBRC and VBMR) to Eurosatory, displayed ‘by invitation only’ to only a few VIPs. Nexter plans to design its offerings based on the 6×6 XP2 experimental vehicle platform, of which three different configurations are proposed to replace the AMX-10RC and VAB. The Armored Multirole Carrier (AMC) from Renault is the company’s candidate for the Scorpion program. Renault has expressed its intention to compete for all three vehicle types to be included in the Scorpion program – the EBRC, to become the armored backbone of France’s rapid intervention force, future, networked troop carrier – VBMR, and the Mine Resistant Ambush protected (MRAP) type armored utility vehicle.
Positioning itself as the leading provider for the ERBC, Panhard developed a technology demonstrator called Sphinx with internal funds, introducing an EBRC representative prototype enabling the company and the French defense establishment to study the operational functions of the EBRC. 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 EBRC, leaving the rest of the competition to other rivals.
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