Nexter will present its VBCI Philoctetes for the first time at DEFEA exhibition scheduled to take place in Athens, Greece, from July 13 to 15, 2021. This is a complete infantry combat system, armed with a remotely operated 40mm CT (cased telescoped) turret from CTAi and a medium range missile launcher (MMP) from MBDA. It meets the Greek army’s requirements for mobility, protection, modularity and firepower. Named Philoctetes, in reference to the mythological hero of the Trojan War, the vehicle will be displayed on the stand (Hall 3 – D17A) in the livery of Greek military machines.
The VÃ©hicule BlindÃ© de Combat d’Infanterie (VBCI, “Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle”) 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 VÃ©hicule BlindÃ© 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. Conditional orders have been placed to cover the supply of 700 vehicles to the French Army in two versions. There will be up to 550 VBCI/VCI infantry fighting vehicles and 150 VBCI/VPC command post vehicles. The VCI infantry fighting vehicle version has a combat weight of 26t and accommodates the two crew, the gunner, the driver and a combat team of eight troops and a commander. The VCI vehicle is fitted with a one-man Nexter Dragar turret armed with a dual feed 25mm Nato cannon type 25 M811 with 150 rounds in the turret and a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun.
The vehicle can reach speeds over 100km/h on metalled roads and has an unrefuelled range of 750km. The 50cm ground clearance, hydropneumatic suspension and wheels with 395/90 R22 tyres fitted with a driver-controlled variable pressure system provide mobility on all types of terrain. Renault has responsibility for the mobility systems, including the driver’s station, engine, gearbox, suspension and axles and on-board electrical networks. Nexter is responsible for the armoured hull, interior furnishing, assembly and integration of the turret and vehicle, observation, command and control, weapons and self-protection systems.