Scorpion Program Arquus

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 with Arquus, Nexter and Thales. Context, 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

Quelles actions ont mené ou mènent les sites Arquus ?

  • Arquus Satory : conception du BMX01 - prototypage
  • Arquus Marolles : tourelleaux téléopérés - militarisation de moteurs
  • Arquus Limoges : collections de mobilité
  • Arquus Garchizy : logistique, pièces et organes de rechange - soutien : valise diagnostic

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.


Opinion of Hervé Desmeules, Arquus' Director of the scorpion program

How to the "Groupement Momentané d'Entreprises" works ?

"By participating in this (GME), Arquus, Nexter and Thalès are consolidating their position within the Defense Industrial and Technological Base (DITB). While joint development and production inevitably require compromises and trade-offs, they undeniably contribute to the homogenization of standards and methods, and thus strengthen the identity and DNA of the French defense industry."

How our industrial tool works ?

"The sensitivity and stakes of this program required the three co-contractors to converge on the methods and standards implemented. For example, the common use of a qualification standard (RGaéro imposed by the DGA), or the sharing of at least part of the production tools are necessary and even essential to guarantee compliance with the contract."

Constraints and adaptations

"From the conceptualization phases, the writing and adoption of technical interface specifications (TIS) was necessary to ensure the interfacing of the different systems. This was fundamental so as not to compromise the final integration."

"A GME agreement further defines the governance and internal relationships of the GME. This formalism guarantees that at all levels (management, steering, operational) coordination is ensured.