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June Demo Planned for French Scorpion Program

Apr. 12, 2012 - 06:33PM   |  
By PIERRE TRAN   |   Comments
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SISSONNE Army Base, France — The French Army plans to demonstrate collaborative combat as part of its Scorpion modernization program in June at the urban warfare training center here, Army Col. Hubert Legrand said.

“In June, there will be a big Scorpion experiment here,” Legrand told journalists on a press trip organized by the Ministry of Defense and the Groupement des Industries Françaises de Defense Terrestre ahead of the Eurosatory trade show.

The one-week exercise is seen by some as the Army’s bid to win support for its Scorpion project, as a new government is due to be formed after the May 6 presidential election.

Defense companies Nexter, Sagem and Thales are taking a big role with the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office in the exercise.

Military and ministry officials will be invited to the urban warfare training complex to see the effects of plugging a 200-strong company of soldiers and their armored vehicles into a digital network.

The exercise will draw together elements developed under the Army’s Bulle Opérationelle Aéroterrestre, or air-land operational sphere, a technology project that feeds into the more ambitious Scorpion program.

The exercise is a “life-size test of new concepts,” mainly industry, a second defense official said.

The Mars joint venture comprising Nexter, Sagem and Thales is drafting the system-of-systems architecture for Scorpion, estimated at 5 billion euros ($6.6 billion) over the first decade.

Scorpion has been dubbed “the Army’s aircraft carrier,” intended to protect the land service from budget cuts by putting procurement within a global systems approach.

The Eurosatory land weapons show opens June 11 in Paris.

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