French Army unveils mockup of Serval 4x4 armored vehicle for VBMR light program
A real size mockup of the Serval 4x4 armored vehicle for the VBMR Leger (Véhicule Blindé Multi-Role Léger - Light Multirole Armored Vehicle) program of the French Army was unveiled on October 10, 2019, in static display during a live demonstration of the French army capabilities. The delivery of the first Serval is scheduled for 2022.
Real size mockup of Serval 4x4 armored for French Army VBMR (Multi-Role Armored Vehicle) light program. (Picture source Army Recognition)
The VBMR Leger nicknamed Serval is part of the SCORPION program (Synergie du contact renforcée par la polyvalence et l'infovalorisation), which also includes the VBMR Griffon 6x6 multirole armored vehicle and EBRC Jaguar 6x6 reconnaissance armored vehicle, which will be produced by the Nexter, Arquus and Thales consortium.
The Serval will replace the VBL (Véhicule Blindé Léger - Light Armored Vehicle) which is in service with the French army in different configurations. According to the draft of the French state armament program for the period 2019–2025, by 2025, 489 VBMR Leger vehicles are expected to be supplied to the French armed forces (an increase from the previously planned 358), and by the year 2030 – 978 vehicles. A second batch of 1,060 vehicles could be ordered.
In February 2019, it was announced that the Serval will be designed and manufactured by the French Companies Nexter and Texelis. Nexter is in charge for the design of the vehicle while Texelis will manufacture the suspension and the transmission. The Serval will be designed in different configurations including personnel carrier, command post, artillery fire control, engineering, ambulance, and ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance), tactical communication hub, etc.
The Serval will have a combat weight of around 17 tons. According to our first analysis, the design of the Serval is standard with the engine at the front, the crew in the middle and the troop’s compartment at the rear. The front of the crew compartment is fitted with a large windscreen and one single door on each side of the hull. The Serval will have a crew of two and could carry 8 military personnel. The infantrymen can enter and leave the vehicle via two doors located at the rear of the hull.
The Serval will be fitted with a remote-controlled weapon station that can be armed with 7.62 mm, 12.7 mm machine or 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. With their multi-role capability, the Serval will be equipped with the SCORPION information and communication systems (SICS).