Nexter Launches VBCI Philoctetes 8X8 Infantry Combat System at DEFEA 2021
Nexter Launches VBCI Philoctetes 8X8 Infantry Combat System at DEFEA 2021

Nexter Teams with HDS to Propose Infantry Fighting Vehicle for Hellenic Army

The Greek defense company Hellenic Defence Systems (HDS) and French government-owned weapons company Nexter has signed a strategic partnership to meet a Hellenic Army requirement for a modernized Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). The two companies are proposing a solution called Philoctetes, which was first unveiled in July 2021 at the DEFEA exhibition in Athens. Philoctetes is a VBCI-2 8×8 vehicle with a two-person Nexter T40 turret featuring a 40mm CTAS cannon and MBDA MMP medium-range missile launcher. The 32t VBCI-2 includes multiple variants (APC, command post, 120mm mortar, medevac and vehicle recovery), and Nexter stated that it is applying feedback from the French Army in the design of the Philoctetes Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

Nexter Launches VBCI Philoctetes 8X8 Infantry Combat System at DEFEA 2021
Nexter Launches VBCI Philoctetes 8X8 Infantry Combat System at DEFEA 2021

The VBCI (Vehicule Blinde de Combat d’Infanterie, “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 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 2 is an improved version, intended for export sales, with new engine (600 hp Volvo D13 turbocharged diesel engine), new air conditioner, and new vision cameras. It is heavier (32 t) and the prototype is equipped with a T40 two-man turret (40mm gun).

CTAS40 Case Telescoped Armament System (CTAS) Cannon

CTA International is an equal-shares joint venture company between defence companies Nexter and BAE Systems. The CTAS40 Case Telescoped Armament System (CTAS) cannon is designed to fire 40mm telescoped ammunition. This format provides significant benefit within vehicles in the space envelope required for the gun and the ammunition storage. However, the selection of the unfielded new design for major programmes has been controversial. The CT40 40mm cannon has been ordered by the French Army for use on its future armoured reconnaissance vehicle EBRC Jaguar. It has also been mandated for the UK Ajax (formerly FRES SV) and Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP) programmes.

Missile Moyenne Portée (Medium-Range Missile) or MMP is a French man-portable network-enabled anti-tank guided missile. Featuring both fire-and-forget and Man In The Loop operating modes, it also integrates third party target designation for indirect firing scenarios through its Lock-on after launch capability for non-line-of-sight (NLOS). The missile and its guidance system offer three different operating modes: Fire-and-Forget, Man In The Loop with fibre optic data-link and Lock-on after launch (LOAL) for non-line-of-sight (NLOS) and using third party target designation. A tandem warhead is used, making it effective against conventional, composite and reactive armour. Upon detonation, the warhead also sprays 1,500 tungsten splinters, effective against personnel out to 15 meters.