ARQUUS : a key player for SCORPION program

arquus programme scorpion

ARQUUS : a key player for SCORPION program

As a major player in the SCORPION Program, Arquus is participating in the development of the new French Army vehicle generation. The GRIFFON multi role armored vehicle and the JAGUAR armored reconnaissance and combat vehicle, built through a joint venture (ARQUUS, THALES and NEXTER). Deciphering the context, the stakes and the role of ARQUUS in SCORPION.

Why does the French Army want to modernize its median vehicles?

Since the 1980's, the older generation armored vehicles (VAB, AMX 10 RC or ERC 90) have been involved in all conflicts and crisis resolution (Lebanon, Iraq, Balkans, Ivory Coast, ...) and more recently in the Sahel during operations Serval and Barkhane.

Designed in the early 1970's, these armored vehicles have undergone several cycles of renovation and modernization in 40 years of operational life. For instance, the ERC 90 has been remotorized. The VAB has evolved significantly over the years thanks to overprotection and a remotely operated 12.7-caliber machine gun. Essential but also insufficient, these many improvements have been made to the detriment of mobility and autonomy. Today, vehicles have reached their mechanical limits. 

Their maintenance costs are becoming a cause for concern, and their availability is even below the critical training threshold for the units. SCORPION's vocation is to replace median armored vehicles as part of a global and coherent capability approach to mobility, protection, autonomy and armored aggression performance.

SCORPION's challenge lies in the choice of cohesion and performance in order to significantly reduce acquisition and support costs while keeping its combat equipment systems simple to use.

Scorpion Program Guidelines

SCORPION is the major weapons program for the French Army for the next 30 years. The 4 main components of this program are the following :

  • New armored vehicles: GRIFFON, JAGUAR, SERVAL
  • New information system (SICS): for tactical coordination in collaborative combat
  • Modernization of the LECLERC tank
  • Training of forces

SCORPION aims to improve operational combat capability using new, better protected and more efficient engines (GRIFFON, JAGUAR, CAESAR) but also by renovating older engines (LECLERC, VBCI).

SCORPION's other objective is to create a unique information and communication system: the SICS (SCORPION Combat Information System).

ARQUUS : a key actor for SCORPION

Arquus take responsibility for the development and production of mobility solutions (powertrain, transmission, suspension, steering, braking, ground linkage), power generation, test facilities, auxiliary power units and remote weapon.

"We supply the powertrains of the vehicles, that is to say all the elements between the steering wheel and the wheels: the engine, the gearbox, the running gear...". E.Levacher

Concerning the GRIFFON in particular, ARQUUS designs and produces the complete powertrain, i.e. all the parts and components ensuring the mobility of the vehicle. This powertrain, which redefines the standards of mobility for armored personnel carriers, offers the latest generation off-road performance, enabling it to accompany the other vehicles in the SCORPION program in the best possible conditions.

scorpion common elements

In parallel to the driveline, ARQUUS provides the main armament of the GRIFFON and the secondary armament of the JAGUAR. These are remote controlled weapon.

Among the different weapon models are the T1 (Hornet, commercial name ARQUUS), the T2 (Hornet Light) and the T3 (Hornet S), i.e. a machine gunner station that can be controlled from inside the vehicle. This equipment is manufactured on the Marolles-en-Hurepoix site.

ARQUUS present throughout the life cycle of SCORPION vehicles

Support solutions was also the subject of very close attention. From the design stage, which took into account the constraints of maintainability and a goal of short maintenance turnaround times, but also a desire to reduce the logistical footprint, with equipment common to all versions and a goal of high reliability.

Thanks to our unrivalled experience in this field, it is quite logical that ARQUUS is responsible for the management of all spare parts of the three companies composing the GME. In concrete terms, this means taking charge of the equipment, from its transport to the Army units.

As the organization in charge of logistics flows, ARQUUS relies on its 20,000 m2 logistics platform created in 2018 in Garchizy.


L'avis d'Hervé Desmeules, Directeur du contrat scorpion chez ARQUUS

Fonctionnement du GME

"En participant à ce groupement momentané d’entreprises (GME), Arquus, Nexter et Thalès consolident leur ancrage au sein de la base industrielle et technologique de Défense (BITD). Si le développement et la production en commun imposent inévitablement des compromis et des arbitrages, ils participent indéniablement à l’homogénéisation des standards et des méthodes, et renforcent ainsi l’identité et l’ADN de l’industrie de défense française."

Fonctionnement de notre outil industriel

"La sensibilité et les enjeux de ce programme ont imposé aux 3 cotraitants de converger sur les méthodes et standards mis en œuvre. Ainsi, à titre d’exemple, l’utilisation commune d’un standard de qualification (RGaéro imposée par la DGA), ou le partage au moins partiel des outils de production sont nécessaires et même indispensables pour garantir le respect du contrat."

Contraintes et adaptations du fonctionnement en mode projet

"Dès les phases de conceptualisation, la rédaction et l’adoption de spécifications techniques d’interface (STI) ont été nécessaires afin de garantir l’interfaçage des différents systèmes. Cela était fondamental pour ne pas compromettre l’intégration finale."

"Un accord GME définit par ailleurs la gouvernance et les relations internes au GME. Ce formalisme garantit qu’à tous les niveaux (direction, pilotage, opérationnel) la coordination est assurée. "

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