A groundbreaking collaboration between French Arquus, Nexter (a KNDS company), and the Organisation for Joint Armaments Cooperation (OCCAR) has sealed the pre-design contract for the VBAE (Véhicule Blindé d’Aide à l’Engagement), signaling a significant stride in future armored vehicle development.
OCCAR, entrusted with managing cooperative defense contracts across Europe, oversees the inception and administration of this program. The contract signing signifies the commencement of converging operational requisites and architectural blueprints for the forthcoming armored vehicle, slated for deployment within the French and Belgian armies by 2030.
The VBAE stands as a result of a cohesive partnership between industry, OCCAR, and client nations, designed to supplant France’s longstanding Light Armoured Vehicle (VBL), operational since the late 1980s. For Belgium, the VBAE represents a pivotal enhancement in its motorized capacity, bolstering reconnaissance and command and control capabilities. Versatility is a hallmark of the VBAE, engineered to cater to a spectrum of missions with a strong emphasis on mobility, stealth, protection, and firepower. Its design emphasizes compactness while optimizing payload capacity.
Execution of this project rests upon a consortium led by prime contractor Arquus and co-contractor Nexter, with activities subcontracted to the Belgian company John Cockerill Defense (JCD). This consortium signifies the initiation of Franco-Belgian industrial cooperation, underscoring their joint commitment to a pivotal armaments program from the pre-design phase.
The VBAE program aligns seamlessly with the FAMOUS project, backed by the European Defence Fund (EDF) underwritten by the European Commission. FAMOUS (Future highly mobile Augmented ArMOUred Systems) focuses on developing innovative technological components shared among future European armored vehicles, where Arquus, Nexter, and JCD play significant roles.