PARIS — France has given a brand name for its planned light multi-role armoured reconnaissance vehicle, or VBMR: Serval.

The French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly confirmed “the forces are waiting impatiently for these Light VBMR,” in a June 11 speech to mark the official opening of the Eurosatory trade show.

“They will be efficient, protectors, innovative,” she added. “I believe they will be feared and decisive for our strategic security. For these Light VBMR, they lack nothing, except a name. It is a real honor to baptize these Light VBMR with the name Serval.”

That name was a tribute to the “know-how and audacity” of the French forces and borrowed from a desert cat known for its “dexterity, speed and smarts,” she said. The French forces conducted the Serval combat operation in Mali, which ran from 2012 to 2014 and took its name from a wild cat found in sub-Saharan Africa. The French parliament has approved the multi-year defense budget, which has boosted the order for Light VBMR by 420 units to 978, she said.

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