French defense contractor Arquus has offered to upgrade Greece’s VBL light armored vehicles fleet.
The partnership between Arquus and the Hellenic Army started in 1997 with the delivery of the first batch of 13 Panhard VBL vehicles. Throughout the years, the total number of vehicles delivered has reached 240, making it one of the largest VBL fleets in service in the world.
As part of the same long-term commitment, Arquus has recently delivered two VBL Ultima to the Hellenic Army, one of which is on display on Arquus’ stand at DEFEA 2023.
The VBL Ultima is a new standard for the VBL, aimed at further enhancing the capabilities of the vehicle, developed for the French Army and currently being implemented by Arquus in their plant in Saint-Nazaire.
Under this new standard, the original 95-horsepower diesel engine is being replaced by a new 130-horsepower diesel engine, as well as a new gearbox, allowing a speed greater than the 95 km/h of the original standard, as well as improved acceleration.
The upgraded VBLs also feature a new Brake Assist System and improved front and rear suspension systems to accommodate increased payload and to improve vehicle handling. Finally, the new standard accommodates air conditioning to improve comfort during operations.
As noted by the company, the VBL Ultima has received very good reviews from Hellenic Army personnel, who have appreciated the increase in mobility, safety, reliability, and comfort, while also granting the vehicle new decades of operational life.
Arquus says it is looking forward to building on its long-running cooperation with the Hellenic Army and to offering the Ultima upgrade package to the whole fleet of the VBLs currently in service.