In the foreseeable future, the French Armed Forces are planning a program to modernize the vehicle fleet and replace existing trucks. Arquus (formerly Renault Truck Defense) may become one of the potential participants in such a tender. The other day she presented a new family of ARMIS cars. However, the full-scale presentation of this technique has been postponed from June to autumn.
The ARMIS project has been developed over the past few years based on the accumulated experience and modern technologies. In the recent past, various samples of equipment have been demonstrated, showing the current state of the project. By now, the design has been completed and full-fledged prototypes of the final look are being prepared. This technique was planned to be demonstrated for the first time at Eurosatory 2020 in June.
However, the current pandemic has led to the cancellation of the exhibition along with all premieres. Developers of new technology, incl. ARMIS vehicles, plans had to be revised. The presentation is now scheduled for the fall and will take place during another exhibition.
To pique the interest of the public and customers, Arquus published a lengthy press release describing the main features of the promising project. Key differences from other equipment and other factors that can interest buyers are noted. At the same time, so far they have done without exact numbers and tactical and technical characteristics.
The ARMIS project offers a range of three multi-purpose vehicle chassis with the greatest possible degree of unification. For the installation of various equipment and the solution of various tasks, it is planned to build all-wheel drive vehicles with wheel configurations 4×4, 6×6 and 8×8.
Armored version of the truck 6×6
In all cases, this is a frame construction technique with a separate driver’s cab. Two- and three-axle vehicles have a bonnet layout, while the four-axle engine is located under the cab. Various vans, cisterns, special installations, etc., can be mounted on a frame behind the cab, depending on the needs of the customer. Some options for such equipment have already been shown using full-scale samples and graphics.
Detailed characteristics of the power plant have not yet been disclosed. Foreign media mentions the use of a diesel engine with a capacity of 340 liters. with. on a three-axle truck. Transmission – mechanical or automatic, depending on the conditions of the order. In all cases, the transmission provides all-wheel drive.
At the request of the customer, the ARMIS truck can be equipped with a light unprotected cab or a full-fledged armored compartment with bulletproof protection. Payload modules can also be built in armored hulls. Apparently, no measures are envisaged to increase the protection of the chassis from mines.
Work is underway to create an autopilot for a new family of vehicles. With its help, it is planned to provide movement in columns or along simple routes with a sharp reduction in the load on the driver. Also, other issues are being worked out in the context of automation related to different stages of operation.
Unification with combat
If the ARMIS trucks get into the French army, they will have to serve side by side with promising armored combat vehicles created under the Scorpion program. This circumstance was taken into account in the design and affected the configuration.
The unification of combat and auxiliary vehicles in terms of the power plant has been ensured. Two- and three-axle modifications ARMIS can be equipped with diesel engines used on armored vehicles VMBR Griffon (a product from Renault with a capacity of 400 hp) and EBRC Jaguar (a Volvo with a capacity of 500 hp) .Thus, in the same units in different roles it will be possible to use different equipment with the same engines, which will simplify its maintenance.
Also “Scorpions” and ARMIS are unified in terms of communication and control equipment. This will allow auxiliary and special equipment to work within a single information space with combat vehicles and will provide obvious benefits.
Trucks can be armed for self-defense if needed. In this capacity, a remotely controlled weapon station Arquus Hornet with a machine gun and smoke grenade launchers is offered. This DBMS has already been tested, received high marks and was recommended for use on new military equipment.
According to Arquus, the French army currently has about 25 thousand units of various ground equipment. Of these, 10,000 are various trucks and automobile chassis with special equipment. The operation of 20 thousand units is supported by Arquus. In logistics and as carriers of various systems, vehicles of a number of types with a relatively large age are used.
For the coming decades, a radical modernization of the armed forces is planned, and one of its main components will be the renewal of the vehicle fleet. The command understands that the current diverse fleet in the future will become obsolete morally and physically, and therefore is going to hold a tender to find a replacement. One of the main participants in such a competition will be the current ARMIS project from Arquus.
Most of the information about ARMIS machines has not yet been published, but the available data already allows estimates to be made. Overall, this project looks interesting and promising. He has several characteristics that can become a decisive factor and influence the choice of the army. Accordingly, the development company can look to the future with optimism and continue working while waiting for the contract.
The main advantage of the new project from Arquus over the existing military equipment is manifested already at the concept level. Instead of different samples of the base chassis, the most unified machines with the same capabilities are offered. At the same time, the ARMIS family covers all the main niches in the vehicle fleet.
The modular payload architecture, traditional for multipurpose chassis, is supplemented by the ability to select certain units, cab design, etc. It is proposed to use such opportunities not only for the construction of all the necessary types of equipment, but also to simplify operation in certain units armed with advanced armored vehicles.
Early version of the ARMIS four-axle truck
Finally, the novelty of the design itself is an advantage. The ARMIS project uses modern developments and technologies, which provides well-known operational and technical advantages. In particular, the decision to equip trucks with communication means of the type used on combat vehicles is of great interest.
Waiting for the premiere
The development company highly values its new family of army trucks and expects them to go to supply the French Armed Forces. In addition, multipurpose vehicles may be of interest to other armies, which will lead to the emergence of export contracts.
However, it is still a long way from real deliveries. Arquus will have to win the relevant competition and then set up production. And at the moment, its main task is to conduct the first full-fledged public display of a ready-made family of three chassis. This event was planned in June, but failed for all known reasons. Now it has been postponed to autumn, and it remains to be hoped that it will be possible to do without new transfers.