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Arquus proposes Sherpa to replace VBRG armored vehicle of French Gendarmerie.

| 2021

For many months already, the French Gendarmerie needs to replace its aging fleet of Berliet VBX-170 VBRG. Arquus proposes its Sherpa fitted with a dozer blade for obstacle clearing.
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Arquus Sherpa Light in law enforcement configuration.  (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The VXB-170 is a 4x4 wheeled armored vehicle used by the French Gendarmerie as an internal security vehicle. The VXB-170 is also called VBRG (Véhicule Blindé à Roues de la Gendarmerie - Wheeled Armored Vehicle of the Gendarmerie). The vehicle was designed, developed and manufactured by the French company Berliet and delivered to the French Gendarmerie in 1973. The total requirement of the French Gendarmerie was for about 400 vehicles but only 155 were finally ordered and delivered.

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Berliet BVXB-170 also called VBRG (Véhicule Blindé à Roues de la Gendarmerie, Wheeled Armored Vehicle of the Gendarmerie) (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Often mentioned, their replacement has never been successful, while the maintenance in operational condition, despite all the goodwill in the world, is more and more complicated to ensure and imposes "cannibalization", that is to say, to recover the good parts on other vehicles to make continue to operate those which are still in an acceptable condition. Of the 155 VBRG delivered to the Gendarmerie Mobile for its law enforcement missions, only around 80 remain operational.

Retrofitting VBRGs appears too expensive and not solving the obsolescence problem of some equipment. So, General Labbé, head of the General Inspectorate of the National Gendarmerie], decided to proceed with the acquisition of new vehicles, at a unit price of 700,000 euros, or roughly double the price of the retrofit for four times the life expectancy, with an operational gain and, presumably, significant savings in maintenance. The difficulty is to find a vehicle offering a good level of protection to the gendarmes, likely to be exposed to fire weapons, and capable of clearing obstacles. Ideally, such a vehicle should have a blade at the front at its engine at the rear, so enabling optimal visibility.

Arquus joins the ranks with its successful Sherpa. The Gendarmerie estimates its need to 89 armored vehicles. So, a complete renewal of this capacity would cost about 65 million euros. But the Sherpa’s engine is located at the front. However, the GIGN (Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale) is already equipped with Sherpa Light vehicles equipped with a ladder. One of them served in a spectacular assault against terrorists in 2015. A dozer blade would be added to clear obstacles.

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The 4-door XL variant of the Sherpa might be a relevant alternate solution to the Sherpa Light for the needed vehicle, easy to fit with a dozer blade too (Picture source: Army Recognition)


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