Jun. 4, 2012 By PIERRE TRAN Defense News
PARIS — Panhard will display at Eurosatory a mock-up of its Sphinx armored vehicle with a new 40mm gun turret from Lockheed Martin UK, aimed at the French Engin Blindé de Reconnaissance et Combat (EBRC) light tank program.
The turret was developed by Lockheed Martin UK for the upgrade of the British Army Warrior vehicle, integrating the Anglo-French CTAI 40mm gun.
The turret optronics are from Thales.
Panhard had mounted a turret from Belgian company CMI on a Sphinx vehicle at the last Eurosatory. The new turret is intended to cut costs by sharing a common product with the British Army.
“I think it would be a good choice for the Army General Staff because it would save around 30 percent of the EBRC program cost,” said Christian Mons, Panhard General Defense CEO. “What’s more, it’s an Anglo-French program.”
A common turret would save some 200 million to 250 million euros ($250.5 million to $313.1 million) of development money, offer cooperative support between the two countries’ militaries and halve the cost of life management and evolution of the product, Mons said.
The turret, weighing 4.5 tons, allows Panhard to meet a requirement for the 16-ton weight limit for the EBRC. That weight limit is intended to allow two EBRCs to be loaded onto an A400M transport aircraft and deliver high vehicle mobility.
The turret could be built under license in France if the Sphinx were picked for the EBRC. Under the Scorpion modernization program, 290 EBRC units are planned for the French Army.
Renault Trucks Defense (RTD) will display its VAB Ultima, a highly protected version of the troop carrier.
The French government ordered 290 Ultima units last year, and 32 will be deployed to Afghanistan this year, despite the drawdown of combat operations.
The Ultima has a steel plate in the floor, remote Kongsberg gun turret and the Slate anti-sniper gear.
Among the 36 RTD vehicles on show will be the VAB Mk3, an upgraded model aimed at export markets.
Panhard will also display its Crab, a high mobility, protected vehicle based on a renewal of the light cavalry doctrine, with a small armored vehicle taking an active combat role