The least that can be said is that Belgian Minister of Defence Steven Vandeput is actively pushing forward his programme to modernise the Belgian armed forces. Following the official launch of the “Belgian Scorpion” (the Belgian version of the French Scorpion army modernisation programme), Vandeput gained approval on 30 June from the Council of Ministers for the purchase of 199 Light Troop Transport Vehicles (LTTV) for €63.3m to equip the Belgian special forces. Deliveries, tailored to units and operational requirements, will extend from 2019 to 2021.
“This acquisition is in line with the process of my strategic vision to strengthen the Special Operations Forces of the Belgian Defence Force, as also requested by NATO,” Vandeput said in an official statement.
These LTTVs, in coordination with the 108 Rapid Reaction Vehicles ordered in 2016, will allow Belgian SOFs to be deployed “quickly, autonomously and very flexibly” notably “by C-130 transport aircraft or, in the future, the A400M,” Vandeput added.
The Belgian Defence Force can now follow up on the tender launched in January 2016 and purchase vehicles to replace a fleet of unarmoured Unimog trucks in service since the 1990s. As we mentioned recently, the LTTV will be available in various variants (SOF, para-commando, ambulance, etc.) using 175 mission modules.
In addition to mission platforms and modules, this contract includes the delivery of 42 ballistic protection kits and on-board armament (12.7mm and 7.62mm machine guns as well as 40mm smoke canister launch systems). All, logically, accompanied by a multi-year technical assistance contract.