French government-owned weapons manufacturer Nexter Group and Belgian industrialist John Cockerill Defense (JCD) are presenting a mock-up of a joint product: Nexter’s VBCI 8×8, on which John Cockerill’s 30mm 3030 turret is integrated. This project concretizes the cooperation recently initiated with Belgium that could serve as a model in Europe : the Motorized Capability Program (CaMo), plans to supply the Land component of the Belgian army with 382 Griffon multirole armored personnel carriers (MPCVs) and 60 Jaguar armored reconnaissance and combat vehicles (EBRCs). The intergovernmental agreement signed between France and Belgium seals a strategic alliance for the two armies, but also a long-term partnership for manufacturers in both countries. Nexter Group has unveiled its infantry fighting vehicle during the HEMUS 2020 exhibition in Bulgaria.
The John Cockerill Defense 3030 mounts a 30mm Medium Caliber (Mk44, MK44S, XM813 and 255 30mm rounds in two-drumfeed system) electrically powered chain gun. The second armament of the turret also includes on 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, on a pintle-mounted 7.62mm machine gun which can be replaced by a remote weapon station. The side of the turret can be also fitted with ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles) launchers. The turret has a traverse of 360° with elevation from +60° to -10°. Based on an unprecedented modular concept, the Cockerill 3000 Series is a single platform enabling guns of different calibers and their corresponding technological modules to be integrated onto the same turret: automatic 25 mm, 30 mm, 30/40 mm, 35 mm and 50 mm caliber guns, along with direct fire guns of 90 and 105 mm, which are also able to fire anti-tank missiles.
The Véhicule Blindé de Combat d’Infanterie (VBCI) is a French Infantry fighting vehicle designed to replace the AMX-10P. They entered active service with the French Army in 2008, with 630 vehicles ordered up to 2010. The Véhicule Blindé de Combat d’Infanterie is built on an aluminium hull which carries a modular THD steel and titanium armour, which can be replaced in the field. The 8×8 wheel combination is designed to make the VBCI more comfortable and less costly than a tracked vehicle, while giving it sufficient mobility to back the Leclerc tank. The VBCI is also designed to be transportable by the Airbus A400M, with an empty mass less than 18 tonnes (full load mass up to 28 tonnes). In September 2014, the French Army Procurement Agency (DGA) declared the qualification of a new version of the VBCI with a 32-ton gross vehicle weight.
John Cockerill, formerly Cockerill Maintenance & Ingénierie (CMI), is a mechanical engineering group headquartered in Seraing, Belgium. It produces machinery for steel plants, industrial heat recovery equipment and boilers, as well as shunting locomotives and military equipment. The defence sub-division’s primary products are 90mm guns and turrets for light armoured vehicles. Nexter Systems (formerly known as GIAT Industries or Groupement des Industries de l’Armée de Terre, Army Industries Group) is a French government-owned weapons manufacturer, based in Roanne, Loire. In 2015, Nexter and Krauss-Maffei merged under a single structure. The new KNDS – KMW+Nexter Defense Systems — will be the European leader of terrestrial defense with more than 6,000 employees.