France: first tests of the VBMR Serval reconnaissance armored vehicle

The first tests of the Serval, light VBMR of the Scorpion program, took place on the proving ground of the DGA Center of Expertise and Field Testing in Angers at the beginning of September 2019. These tests were carried out on different types of terrain to test all the movement conditions.

France first tests of the VBMR Serval reconnaissance armored vehicle
The Serval during its first testing phase (Picture source: screenshot from DGA's video)

The prototype has proven adapted to all these situations and suggests very good mobility capabilities. More tests are planned in 2020: in particular, it will be a question of characterizing the wear of the vehicle thanks to an accelerated aging test equivalent to several years of use.

The DGA awarded the contract development and realization of Serval to Nexter and Texelis in February 2018. The Military Planning Act 2019-2025 provides that 50% of new Scorpion program vehicles will be delivered on the period, which represents 489 Serval vehicles. The first deliveries of Serval will take place in 2022.

Foreseen to intervene in the contact area, the Serval is intended primarily for reconnaissance and intelligence units and may also equip the support and support units. An armored 4x4 vehicle of the 15 to 17 tons category according to its load, the Serval integrates various equipment common to Scorpion vehicles, in particular, the electronic heart of the vehicle, a remotely controlled machine gun, threat detectors and the Scorpion Combat Information System (SICS). It is available in four main versions: Patrol, Intelligence and Reconnaissance, Communications Relay, Electronic Warfare.

The Scorpion program

The Scorpion program is intended to renew and modernize the combat capabilities of the French Army with modern and interconnected armored vehicles. It mainly includes the following bricks:
* the Scorpion Combat Information System (SICS) designed to provide tactical command and control in collaborative combat (the heart of the "Scorpion Revolution");
* 2 multi-role armored vehicles (the Griffon and the Serval) available in several versions and intended to replace the VAB currently in service;
* 1 armored reconnaissance and combat vehicle (the Jaguar), intended to replace the AMX10RC, the ERC Sagaie, and the VAB HOT (antitank);
* the renovation of the Leclerc main battle tank (integration with the Scorpion system, reinforcement of tank protection and increase of offensive capabilities, leading to the Leclerc XLR variant).

To accelerate the renewal and modernization of the Army, the LPM 2019-2025 provides for an increase in armored vehicle orders and the acceleration of delivery schedules: 50% of the new medium armored vehicles (Griffon, Jaguar, Serval) will be delivered by 2025.


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