No, this is not some kind of Belgian joke: the Council of Ministers today approved a proposal by Belgian Defence Minister Steven Vandeput to purchase 60 Jaguar reconnaissance and combat armoured vehicles and 417 Griffon multi-role armoured vehicles for a total €1.1bn. “This is the largest investment programme for land forces announced in the minister’s strategic vision,” Vandeput said in a statement.
This programme, called “CAMO”, aims to conclude “a government-to-government agreement with France, with a view to replacing the current combined arms capability, including certain capacities for medical reconnaissance and support,” the Council of Ministers announced.
The Jaguar will replace the Dingo II light armoured vehicles in service since 2006, while the Griffon will take the place of the Piranha III family of armoured vehicles used since 2008 by the five Medium Brigade battalions. These new vehicles will be delivered with communications systems and spare parts.
Developed by the trio Nexter Systems-Renault Trucks Defense and Thales through the French Scorpion programme, the Griffon and Jaguar vehicles are expected to be delivered to Belgium between 2025 and 2030, says Vandeput.
The “Strategic Vision” unveiled in June 2016 by Vandeput predicted that a “possible collaboration with France [could] offer an important opportunity to ensure effective support (including training, doctrine, maintenance, logistical support) for our joint motorised capability.” A capability that the minister would like to see evolve in parallel with the French GTIA Joint Task Force model, apparently with a common armoured framework.
The CAMO programme, if it materialises, could eventually prove profitable to Belgian manufacturers, such as CMI Defence which, in addition to its objective of acquiring Renault Trucks Defense, would use the opportunity to integrate one of its range of turrets or the simulators of its French subsidiary Agueris.