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.