COLOGNE, Germany — France’s Nexter and Belgium’s CMI Defence have signed a cooperation pact to revamp the Belgian army’s fleet of ground combat vehicles, the companies announced.
The deal follows an intergovernmental agreement between Paris and Brussels aimed at letting Belgium in on the French land program for “motorized capabilities,” known as CaMo in France. Nexter is the lead for that program for the French Armed Forces, which is part of the larger Scorpion land warfare modernization effort.
All told, Belgium is looking to buy 382 Griffon multirole armored vehicles and 60 Jaguar armored reconnaissance and combat vehicles. According to a CMI Defence statement, the “industrial mastery of work” will come from Nexter.
Under the terms of the agreement, CMI Defence would be the “final assembler” for the Griffon vehicles and act in a similar capacity for putting a 40mm turret onto the Jaguars, according to Nexter.
Deliveries to the Belgian army will stretch from 2025 to 2030.
The vehicles used by both countries are meant to be virtually identical, thus boosting the potential for interoperability during operations.
“Our cooperation with Nexter is a good example of how European defense companies can jointly participate in the establishment of the Europe of Defense,” CMI Defence president Thierry Renaudin was quoted as saying in a statement.
Nexter CEO Stéphane Meyer similarly praised the European element of the new cooperation agreement, saying it would pay dividends especially when it comes to the upkeep of the Belgian fleet.
News of the joint effort in land warfare comes after Europe suffered a serious setback in its effort to unify the continent’s aerial capabilities with a domestically produced warplane. Brussels last week chose the American-made F-35 stealth fighter over competing offers from Airbus and Dassault.