On the vast mountain plateau of the military camp of Caylus (Tarn-et-Garonne), 3 peoplee The Marine Corps Parachute Regiment poses proudly next to a newcomer to the ranks on Tuesday, May 23: the Serval, a seventeen-ton armored 4×4., Designed for paratroopers and mountain infantry units. “3” is the first regiment to be equipped with this latest addition to the new generation of armor.
With the arrival of the Griffon from 2019 and the Jaguar from 2021 to replace the aging AMX-10RC, some units of which are destined for Ukraine, the Serval’s entry into service marks the end of an era for the ground force. It marks the planned end of the VAB (Various Armored Vehicle), a troop transport vehicle dating back more than forty years, still the most widespread in the Army.
“We’re moving from a car to a real combat weapon”Colonel Benoit Cusac, 3rd Commander, explainse RPIMA, about twenty new Servals, of which he recovered the keys in February. His regiment, based in Carcassonne, hopes to receive nine more by the end of the year. A limited number, but one that will restore some mass to its fleet weakened by years of budget cuts.
First in a long series
These Serval copies should be the first in a long series. The Military Programming Law (LPM), which is currently being discussed in the National Assembly, plans to supply a thousand of them to the army by 2030. This armored car is the only one that has survived budget cuts by the executive at this stage, despite the 413 billion euros allocated by the LPM to the army.
In Kailus, 3 young red beretse RPIMa feels privileged. Since on a VAB with a very noisy engine, “You always have to shout to understand each other and give directions, with Serval everyone is involved in the mission.”, detail officer. Visibility through the windshield is much better for rear passengers; Maneuverability, clearly superior. “drives like a car”, summarizes Captain Jeanson, Serval’s reference officer in the regiment. There is also heating and air conditioning.
It is also no longer necessary to expose the soldier to target the enemy. All surveillance and weapon systems can be controlled from inside the vehicle. “Well positioned, the Serval can replace a battlegroup overnight”, continues Colonel Cusack. Especially since it is equipped with the first cubes of Scorpion, the computer system in which the army invests heavily to advance the battle. “collaborative”. At this point, Scorpion allows for specific geolocation of friendly units, which is not possible on VAB.
Source: Le Monde