In May 2020, the French Directorate-General of Armaments (DGA) delivered 17 Griffon vehicles from the Scorpion program to the French Army, having carried out pre-delivery verifications during the confinement, in strict compliance with the health rules related to Covid-19 epidemic. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced that deliveries commence in 2018 and a first tranche of 319 Griffons. In total the French Army wants to buy 1,722 VBMR 6×6 Griffon and 400 VBMR 4×4 at a later date.These 17 new vehicles have already joined the 92 units of the French Army fleet delivered in 2019. The 2019-2025 French Military Planning Law (LPM) calls for 936 Griffons to enter service by 2025.
The VBMR (Véhicule blindé multi-rôles or Multi-role armored vehicle) Griffon is a French multi-role armored vehicle that will replace the French Army’s VAB armored personnel carrier. The French army has been preparing to replace the VAB since the early 2000s. According to the Army’s 2020 Defense White Paper it plans to buy up to 2,122 VBMR vehicles between 2018 and 2025. A consortium of Nexter, Thales, and Renault Trucks Defense is building the vehicles. The same consortium also builds the EBRC Jaguar reconnaissance and combat vehicle for the French Army, which shares 70% of its components with the VBMR Griffon.
The VBMR Griffon is based on a 6×6 commercial all-terrain truck chassis and will carry up to eight infantry soldiers. The consortium (Arquus, Thales and Nexter Systems) building the “Griffon” is contractually obliged to keep the price per Griffon under €1 million. Currently, six versions of the Griffon are planned, with four of these (Armored Personnel Carrier, Command Post, Ambulance, and Artillery Observer) ordered in the first tranche. After 2021 a much lighter 4 × 4 version might be ordered, which will be used as a reconnaissance vehicle.The vehicle has an overpressure system to maintain constant protection to the troop compartment against chemical, biological and radiological
The vehicles are designed for simple maintenance and logistics. For example, Griffon and Jaguar both use standard commercial truck engines, which have been adapted to use a wider range of fuel. threats. For service in hot climates, the Griffon is equipped with air conditioning. The Griffon is equipped with a remote weapons station that can be armed with either a 12.7mm or 7.62mm machine gun, or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. The addition of two Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP) anti-tank guided missiles is optional. Eight launchers for smoke grenades are fitted to the remote weapon station, which also includes an acoustic sniper localisation system.