Griffon VBMR Boarding Tests Aboard the PHA Mistral
(Source: French Navy; issued Sept. 29, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by
To test its interoperability, a Griffon multi-role armored vehicle drove onto and off the French Navy’s FS Mistral amphibious helicopter carrier using the ship’s lateral ramp. (FR Navy photo)
On September 21, 2020, the French Army’s Technical Section (STAT) performed boarding trials with a prototype Griffon Multi-Role Armored Vehicle (VBMR) aboard the Amphibious Helicopter Carrier (PHA) Mistral.

These are the first tests of this type aboard a PHA.

The VBMR Griffon prototype boarded the Mistral through the vessel's side ramp, the objective being to verify the vehicle's interoperability with an amphibious vessel moored to a quay without RO-RO (Roll On, Roll Off) capability. These trials complement those in November 2019 which enabled the validation of the Griffon’s boarding capabilities on board standard amphibious landing craft (EDA-S) and rapid amphibious landing craft (EDA-R).

The Griffon VBMRs are intended to replace the VAB (Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé) in their troop transport function. They can also accommodate a command post, be used for observing artillery fire, but also as a medical vehicle. From a PHA, they take part in the amphibious landing of troops during deployments to theaters of operation.

The Army’s transformation to an "all-SCORPION" force model constitutes a major challenge for amphibious units. With the goal of maintaining a permanent capability, this transition will in fact require maintaining a dual competence: that of an on-board battle group (GTE) in the traditional format, and that of a "Scorpionized" GTE. whose combat vehicles will have been completely renewed, and whose data transmission systems will profoundly transform interoperability with the naval force deployed in support of amphibious actions.

* A RO-RO is a ship used to transport vehicles that are loaded and unloaded by driving aboard using one or more access ramps.


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