On September 21, 2020, the French Army Technical Section (STAT) performed the first boarding tests of the new Griffon Multi-Role Armored Vehicle (VBMR) aboard French Navy’s Mistral Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD).
The Griffon prototype boarded the Mistral through the vessel’s side door, the objective being to verify the vehicle’s interoperability with an amphibious vessel moored to a quay without Roll-on-Roll-off (Ro-Ro) capability. These tests complement those of November 2019 which enabled the validation of the Griffon’s boarding capabilities with standard amphibious landing craft (CTM) and rapid amphibious landing craft (EDA-R).
Griffon VBMRs are intended to succeed the VAB armored personnel carrier in its troop transport task. They can also accommodate a command post, be used for artillery observation, but also as a armored ambulance. Once deployed from a PHA, they participate in the amphibious landing of troops during deployments to operational theaters.
The transition phase of the French Army towards an “all SCORPION” model constitutes a major challenge for the amphibious field. With the goal of maintaining a permanent capability, this transition will in fact require maintaining a dual competence: that of an on-board battle group (“Groupement tactique embarqué” – GTE) in the traditional format, and that of a “scorpionized” GTE whose fleet of combat vehicles will have been completely renewed, and whose data transmission systems will deeply transform interoperability with the naval force deployed in support of amphibious actions.
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