French 17th Airborne Engineer Regiment receives first Fardier light tactical vehicles

On September 27, the French 17th Airborne Engineer Regiment (17RGGP, 17e Régiment du Génie Parachutiste) posted a video on Twitter to report that, a few weeks earlier, it had received its first Fardier light tactical vehicles. From now on, they have to master this unique extra-light 4x4 tactical vehicle. Intended for Army airborne troops and special forces, the Fardier is a small air-transportable, air-droppable and heliportable 4x4 transport vehicle.
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The French 17th Airborne Engineer Regiment has received its first UNAC Fardier light tactical vehicles (Picture source: screenshots from the video posted on Twitter by the 17RGP)

Let's remember that on September 22, 2022, the French army's General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) officially announced that it had informed the manufacturer UNAC of its intent to acquire the final batch of 180 Fardier vehicles, as stipulated by the military programming law 2019-2025. Additionally, the order included the last 100 trailers out of the planned 172. This procurement, valued at a total of 44 million euros, encompassed not only the flatbed vehicles and their trailers but also encompassed 10 years of support from the manufacturer. The delivery of eight Fardiers is expected to take place within this year, with continuous deliveries scheduled to extend through 2027.

The army received its initial two Fardiers on April 19, 2022. These vehicles are designated for use in the Manticore joint exercise, which involves collaboration with the Land Special Forces Command, the 11th Parachute Brigade, and the 4th Aerocombat Brigade. This exercise is scheduled to occur from September 16 to October 7.

The Fardier possesses the unique capability of being transportable via military transport planes such as the C-130 Hercules or A400M Atlas, parachuted from aircraft like the C-130 Hercules and A400M Atlas, and transported via helicopter under sling by helicopters like the Caracal and NH90. This versatile vehicle empowers commandos to be deployed or landed at a secure distance from their objectives while rapidly transporting their equipment.

Weighing in at 2 tonnes, the Fardier is a lightweight, all-terrain compact vehicle, boasting exceptional cross-terrain capabilities, surpassing conventional 4x4s. Its robust and dependable design intentionally omits electronic systems to prevent non-repairable operational failures. Furthermore, it can tow a 120mm mortar and transport various large equipment items using its trailer, which can bear a load of up to 350kg, as indicated in the manufacturer's technical specifications. Importantly, it facilitates the swift evacuation of injured personnel to a medical facility when necessary.

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Insignia of the 17th Airborne Engineer Regiùment (17e Régiment du Génie Parachutiste)

The 17th Airborne Engineer Regiment  (17e Régiment du Génie Parachutiste)

The 17th Engineer Regiment (17e RGP) is the engineer regiment of the 11th Parachute Brigade. Its mission is to support the 11th Parachute Brigade by providing engineering expertise, specific capabilities, and equipment, with a focus on the resumption of force through the third dimension, the reestablishment, and the delivery of an airport platform. Its quick responsiveness gives it a unique ability to be deployed urgently, especially in theater-opening scenarios, such as recent deployments to Mali or the Central African Republic.

The 17th RGP holds a unique capability in Europe, which is to restore or create a landing strip. Its airborne nature allows it to drop soldiers and equipment into inaccessible areas by road. This specificity ensures that the Armed Forces have access to an airport platform anywhere in the world.

The Liaison and Offensive Reconnaissance Section (SLRO) of the 17th RGP consists of three specialized sections:
• Engineering Reconnaissance Section (SRG)
• Paratrooper Commandos Section (CP)
• Operational Demining and Decontamination Section (EOD)


The 17th RGP is composed of 850 personnel distributed as follows:
• Command and Logistics Company (CCL)
• Engineer Support Company (CAG)
• Three Engineer Combat Companies (CCG)
• Intervention and Reserve Unit (UIR)

Defense News September 2023