Cardboard and wood are two materials that will not be used to manufacture the future Jaguar, the key armoured vehicle of the French Army’s Scorpion programme destined to replace the ERC-90 Sagaie, AMX-10RC and VAB HOTs. But these two materials will have to do for the time being, as used in the full-sized model of the Jaguar, an armoured combat and reconnaissance vehicle, unveiled at the Army’s live show last month (which FOB wrote about here and here).
For new readers, the Jaguar, whose precise measurements are still unknown, will have a total weight of 25 tonnes and a 400Hp engine. The 248 vehicles, manufactured by Nexter, Thales and Renault Trucks Defense, will be equipped with a 40mm 40 CTAS gun, two pods for MBDA’s MMP missiles and a 7.62mm machine gun mounted on a remote-controlled weapon station.
General Jean-Pierre Bosser, army chief of staff, told the French Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Armed Forces Commission on 19 October that even if the first 20 Jaguars are ordered in 2017 it will still be necessary to increase their rate of production, otherwise, as Senator Daniel Reiner, added “we’ll be at it for 15 years.” French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian confirmed on 2 November that the French government could consider speeding up delivery of these vehicles. “We could consider this question for the upcoming years. I’m open to discussions,” he told the National Assembly.
According to the head of the DGA French procurement agency, Laurent Collet Billon, an acceleration in production rates could only start after 2020 once the vehicle has passed all its qualification phases.