In the foreseeable future, the French armed forces plan to carry out a fleet modernization program and replace existing trucks. One of the potential bidders for this tender may be Arquus (formerly Renault Truck Defense). The other day she introduced a new family of cars ARMIS. However, a full-scale presentation of this technique was postponed from June to autumn.
The ARMIS project has been developed over the past few years based on accumulated experience and modern technology. In the recent past, various models of equipment were demonstrated that showed the current state of the project. To date, the design is completed and full-fledged prototypes of the final appearance are being prepared. It was planned to demonstrate this technique for the first time at Eurosatory 2020 in June.
However, the current pandemic has led to the cancellation of the exhibition along with all the premieres. Developers of new technology, including ARMIS cars had to rethink plans. Now the presentation is scheduled for the fall and will be held during another exhibition.
In order to foster the interest of the public and customers, Arquus published a voluminous press release describing the main features of a promising project. Key differences from other equipment and other factors that can interest buyers are noted. At the same time, they dispensed with exact numbers and performance characteristics.
The ARMIS project offers a line of three multi-purpose car chassis with the highest degree of unification possible. For the installation of various equipment and solving various problems, it is planned to build four-wheel drive vehicles with 4x4, 6x6 and 8x8 wheel formulas.
In all cases, we are talking about the technique of frame construction with a separate driver's cab. Two- and three-axle cars have a bonnet layout, and on a four-axle engine is located under the cab. Behind the cab, various vans, tanks, special installations, etc., can be mounted on the frame, depending on the needs of the customer. Some options for such equipment are already shown using field samples and graphics.
Detailed characteristics of the power plant have not yet been disclosed. Foreign media mention the use of a 340-liter diesel engine. with. on a three-axle truck. Transmission - mechanical or automatic, depending on the conditions of the order. In all cases, the transmission provides all-wheel drive.
At the request of the customer, the ARMIS truck can be equipped with a light, unprotected cab or a full armored compartment with bulletproof protection. Payload modules can also be built in armored enclosures. Apparently, no measures are being taken to increase the protection of the chassis from mines.
Work is underway to create an autopilot for a new family of vehicles. With its help, it is planned to provide movement in columns or along simple routes with a sharp reduction in the load on the driver. Other issues are also being worked out in the context of automation related to different stages of operation.
Unification with combat
If ARMIS trucks fall into the French army, they will have to serve side by side with promising examples of armored combat vehicles created as part of the Scorpion program. This circumstance was taken into account during the design and affected the configuration.
Unification of combat and auxiliary vehicles for the power plant is ensured. The two- and three-axis ARMIS modifications can be equipped with diesel engines used on the VMBR Griffon armored vehicles (Renault product from 400 hp) and EBRC Jaguar (Volvo 500 hp) Thus, it will be possible to use different divisions on different roles different equipment with the same engines, which will simplify its maintenance.
Also, "Scorpions" and ARMIS unify the communication and control equipment. This will allow auxiliary and special equipment to work within a single information space with military vehicles and will give obvious benefits.
If necessary, trucks can get weapons for self-defense. In this capacity, the Arquus Hornet remotely controlled combat module with a machine gun and smoke grenade launchers is offered. This DBM has already been tested, received high marks and has been recommended for use on new army equipment.
According to Arquus, the French army currently has approximately 25 thousand units of various land equipment. Of these, 10 thousand are a variety of trucks and automobile chassis with special equipment. The operation of 20 thousand units is supported by Arquus. In logistics and as carriers of various systems, a number of types of vehicles with a relatively large age are used.
A radical modernization of the armed forces is planned for the coming decades, and one of its main components will be the renewal of the fleet. The command understands that the current multi-type park in the future will become obsolete morally and physically, and therefore is going to hold a tender to find a replacement. One of the main participants in this competition will be the current ARMIS project from Arquus.
Most of the information about ARMIS machines has not yet been published, but the available data already allows us to make estimates. In general, this project looks interesting and promising. It has several characteristics that can become a decisive factor and influence the choice of the army. Accordingly, the development company can look to the future with optimism and continue to work, waiting for the contract.
The main advantage of the new project from Arquus over the existing army equipment is already evident at the concept level. Instead of different models of the basic chassis, the most unified cars with the same capabilities are offered. At the same time, the ARMIS family covers all the main niches in the fleet.
The modular payload architecture, traditional for multi-purpose chassis, is supplemented by the ability to select particular units, cab design, etc. It is proposed to use such opportunities not only for the construction of all necessary models of equipment, but also to simplify operation in various units armed with advanced armored vehicles.
Finally, the novelty of the design itself is an advantage. The ARMIS project uses modern developments and technologies, which gives well-known operational and technical advantages. In particular, of great interest is the decision to equip the trucks with communication facilities of the type used on combat vehicles.
Waiting for the premiere
The development company praises its new family of army trucks and expects them to go to supply the French armed forces. In addition, multi-purpose vehicles may be of interest to other armies, which will lead to the emergence of export contracts.
However, real deliveries are still far away. Arquus will have to win the relevant competition and after that set up production. And at the moment, her main task is to conduct the first full-fledged public display of the finished family of three chassis. This event was planned in June, but failed for all known reasons. Now it has been moved to autumn, and it remains to be hoped that it will be possible to do without new transfers.