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French DGA has conducted firing test with new Griffon MEPAC 120mm mortar carrier

According to a video published on Youtube, the French army defense procurement agency (DGA) has conducted live-fire testing with the GRIFFON MEPAC (Mortier Embarqué Pour l’Appui au Contact - Mounted Mortar for Fire Support). The Griffon MEPAC is equipped with Thales 120-mm Rifled Recoiled Mounted Mortar (2R2M) system.
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French Army procurement agency DGA has conducted live firing tests with the new Griffon MEPAC 120mm mortar carrier vehicle. (Picture source Youtube Video )

In December 2019, the French army defense procurement agency (DGA) has notify the development and acquisition of the Griffon MEPAC to the consortium of French defense companies including Nexter, ARQUUS, and Thales. The DGA has planned to order a total of 54 Griffon MEPAC self-propelled 120mm mortar carriers. The first vehicles are expected to be delivered by the end of 2023.

The Griffon VBMR (Multi-Role Armored Vehicle) is a new development of a 6x6 Multi-Role armored vehicle for the French Army under the program EBMR Scorpion (Engin Blindé Multi-Rôle - Armoured Multi-roles Vehicles). A total of 780 vehicles are expected to be delivered by 2025. The main role of the Griffon VBMR is to provide the French Army with a new armored personnel carrier with a high level of protection and mobility. The vehicle was designed and developed by a consortium of French Companies including Nexter Systems, ARQUUS (formerly Renault Trucks Defense), and Thales.

The Griffon MEPAC will equip artillery sections in support of combined arms battle groups. It will be the first artillery component of the Scorpion program able to fire beyond direct sight. Its mobility, precision, and rate of fire will allow it to follow the maneuver and provide precise and powerful fire support from a distance adapted to current threats. It will be connected to the Atlas artillery weapons system.

For the Griffon MEPAC, Thales will provide the 2R2M 120mm semi-automatic mortar system. The 2R2M is a rifled recoiled mounted mortar system developed by the French company Thales. The 120 mm mortar system is mounted in the rear of the Griffon and fires through power-operated roof hatches. In road position, the 120mm mortar system is stored inside the vehicle. Inside the vehicle, the turntable-mounted mortar can be traversed through 360°, with an elevation of 40–85 º under hydraulic power. It is coupled to a Thales computerized fire-control system (FCS), automatic laying system (ALS), and an inertial navigation system (INS). It can fire 10 rounds within one minute, with improved accuracy compared to the similar mortar towed version, and can then start moving and close the top doors at the same time.

The Griffon MEPAC will have a crew of four. The 2R2M semi-automatic mortar system includes the 120 mm RT that entered in service with the French artillery units in the mid-1990s. With a maximum range of 8-13 km, tactical units can maneuver safely, relying on an effective indirect fire support capability that can easily be integrated into a complete artillery chain of command.

For its self-protection, the Griffon MEPAC is fitted with the new generation of T2 remotely operated turret developed by the French company ARQUUS that can be armed with one 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun or one 40mm automatic grenade launcher.

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