The French Directorate General of Armaments (Direction générale de l’armement, DGA) has just validated the transport of the Serval by an amphibious helicopter carrier (Porte-Hélicoptères Amphibie), a fast amphibious landing craft (Engin de Débarquement Rapide) and a maritime transport barge (Chaland de Transport Maritime). Around ten prototype Serval are already undergoing qualification tests with the French Army. The vehicle will come in 16 different variants, all of which are in simultaneous development, meaning they can be ordered and delivered as required.
France’s DGA has ordered 364 Serval armoured vehicles for the French Army. The Army is expected to have a total of 978 Servals by 2030. Sharing its name with France’s 2013 mission in Mali, the Serval is a 15-tonne armoured vehicle featuring the Scorpion Combat Information System (SICS) designed to network France’s new fleet of ground vehicles. The 4×4 can carry a squad of eight personnel, including a driver and gunner, and features a fully-formed V-shaped aluminium hill. While more expensive, Nexter and Texelis say this design features better blast resistance.
Serval vehicles will replace 40-year-old Véhicule de l’avant blindé (VAB) vehicles, which has been in service since the 1970s. It is the indispensable complement to the heavy multi-role armored vehicle Griffon EBMR and Jaguar EBRC. The light-armored, four-wheel drive, 15-ton Servals are built by Nexter and Texelis. Three main versions of the Serval: patrol; intelligence and reconnaissance; and communications. The first 12 production vehicles will be delivered in the first half of 2022, followed by a further 96 in the later half.