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Satory 1990: the last all-French Army equipment exhibition.

Satory 1990

The Last All-French Army Equipment Exhibition

At the opening of the six-day Satory 90 exhibition on 25 June, French Defence Minister Jean-Pierre Chevenement announced that it would be the last all-French Army show. The next biennial Satory (near Paris), he said, will be open to exhibits from "all manufacturers in the member countries of the Independant European Programme Group (IEPG)".

The undisputed international champion in France is Thomson-CSF, which continues its multi-national growth by takeovers, in addition to participating in an increasing number of cooperative ventures.

Other international players at Satory 90, mainly in the joint-venture field, included Aerospatiale, Alcatel, Dassault Electronique, Matra, SAT and SNPE, with Creusot-Loire, Panhard and the newly reorganized GIAT Industries also making their debuts in foreign partnerships.

GIAT Industries plans to follow its alliance with Rheinmetall and Royal Ordinance (for development of the next-generation 140 mm tank gun) with the acquisition of troubled Belgian firm PRB from its present British owner Astra, and of Manurhin from Matra. Combined with its recent takeover of Luchaire, these deals will place GIAT Industries in the pole position among Europe's ordnance manufacturers. * GIAT Industries has already been named prime contractor (responsible for systems integration) for the modular armoured vehicle programme (VBM).

Intended to replace the complete range of French Army armoured vehicles from 15 to 32 or 37 tonnes (including the VAB and AMX-10P) as from the late 1990s, the VBM's specifications are now being drawn up by the General Staff. Senior GIAT officials confirmed to ARMADA International that they will engage Renault Vehicules Industriels to handle the mobility aspects of the programme. French defence ministry and industry officials all stress, however, that the Vehicule Blinde Modulaire programme must be international if it is to succeed. Initial talks have already been held with the British and Germans, both of whom have similar requirements.

GIAT believes that the VBM will have to be wheeled, with all wheels steered, and RVI is already studying an 8 X 8 configuration which may fill the bill. A French General Staff source close to the programme, on the other hand, told ARMADA that the heavy firepower member of the family may be a tracked vehicle. Total requirement is likely to be for 1 500-2 000 vehicles. * Renault VI presented its full range of military vehicles, among which the 4 X 4 VAB Nouvelle Generation under trial by the French Army, which is due to order 500 units in 1992. It will thus be the next on the assembly line, since the French Army programme for more than 4 000 VABs comes to an end then.

Improvements made to the VAB NG, whose procurement cost will be comparable to that of the old VAB, relate to armour protection and mobility. A tyre-pressure control operated from the driver's cab further enhances mobility. The frontal arc is protected against 7.62 P calibre fire at all ranges. The uparmoured "S" version is proof against heavy machine-gun rounds and shell splinters.

The upgrading of the in-service VAB may be proposed. Redesignated VAB 1B, it will retain the frame of the original VAB but possess the same components as the VAB NG (engine, gearbox). The improvements to the VAB NG were financed out of RVI's own pocket, in the same way as the TRM 700-100, the tank transporter tractor designed for the AMX Leclere MBT.

The 100-tonne class TRM 700-100 is a 6 X 6 truck powered by a 700 hp Mack E9 engine. It is currently at the pre-production stage and under experimental trial with the French Army, which has a requirement for 350 to 400 units. Faun is another contender for this market. A new version of the TRM 10000, with detachable flatbed, has its power increased from 260 to 320 hp and its payload from 10 to 13 tonnes.

Renault VI, which is currently engaged in researching an eight-wheel armoured vehicle in the 30-tonne class in anticipation of the future French Army VBM (Vehicule Blinde Modulaire) programme, is also pondering the question of the future tactical vehicle, as a successor to the GBC 8KT, and is working on a wheel-and-suspension design that could be applied to trucks and armoured vehicles. * ACMAT has adapted a complete, self-contained NBC decontamination system to the 6 X 6 VLRA Type TPK6.40, thus ensuring the system's full mobility. Designed for rapid deployment in the combat zone, it can undertake a complete decontamination programme on its own. The complete system is air-transportable by Transall C-160 and Hercules C-130.

The Ampliroll Marrel loading and unloading system has been successfully adapted to the TPK 8.70, the seven-tonne payload 8 X 8. Recently 17 8 X 8 load-carriers have been ordered as shelter-carriers for the Moroccan Army's medical corps.

Two vehicles illustrated the sort of joint ventures that ACMAT intends to engage in with firms such as Thomson, GIAT, Matra and Aerospatiale with a view to the joint design of vehicles specifically adapted to their weapons systems.

The first one of these is a GIAT mine-dispersal system. This consists of six modules carried on a 6 X 6 VLRA TPK 6.40 CTL platform. Each module contains 20 containers, i.e. 100 mines, giving a total capacity of 600 mines. The range is variable since it is possible to alter the elevation of each individual module separately. The vehicle can fire on the move.

The second is a 4 X 4 VLRA equipped with a PSA 245 platform acting as a support for the Atlas-Matra firing station. Another novelty was a shelter which together with its 4 X 4 VLRA platform, is air-transportable by C-130 or C-160.

It is proposed that a ZF transmission be adopted for the whole range of vehicles. * Matra and Giravions Dorand chose the third day of the exhibition to sign a agreement covering the joint development of trainers for the various versions of the Mistral air defence missile. Under the terms of the agreement, Matra will be in charge of the technical aspects and marketing of the trainers, for the different versions of the ground-launched air defence Mistral missile systems, including the Albi and the Atlas. Giravions Dorand is responsible for the firing simulator of the helicopter-launched air-to-air Mistral.

Earlier this year, the French Army announced that it wanted to provide an air-to-air capability for 30 of its SA 342 Gazelles by arming each helicopter with four Mistral missiles. Matra disclosed that tests conducted so far had enabled them to explore the firing sequence in the entire flight envelope of the Gazelle. Mounted in a swivelling cradle, the missiles can be fired even when the helicopter is in a nose down attitude at full initial acceleration. Tests also demonstrated that the missiles could be fired at the maximum level speed of the helicopter.

From the pedestal-mounted twin-Mistral Atlas system developed for potential users in the Gulf, Matra has derived the Albi to meet an interest expressed by the French Army for such a system.

Matra offered visitors the opportunity to carry out by themselves simulated Mistral firings against a flying helicopter. The target acquisition and firing sequence proved to be deceptively easy. Including the latest contracts the Mistral missile system has been ordered by ten countries. All firings conducted so far have given a kill rate of 93%. * Aerospatiale Engins Tactiques announced that it had just completed a podded prototype of the CL 289 drone sensor. Carried by a helicopter to simulate a reconnaissance mission, the pod enables future CL 289 operators to be trained. The CL 289 is being developed jointly with Canadair (main contractor) and Dornier. The French CL 289 Piver version differs in that it provides real-time analysis of infrared pictures. The company's Eryx anti-tank mini-missile programme is running one year behind schedule. The missile should start qualification trials for both the French and the Canadian armies in mid-1991. Canada is to co-produce it, and Canadian contractors are now being selected. Production should begin in France at end-1991. A low-cost thermal imaging night sight is expected to be added in 1993/4. * Euromissile's chalet was next to Aerospatiale's and across the aisle from Matra's, and was dominated by a Roland air defence system complete with a full-size cut-away mock-up of the new RM5 (Roland Mach 5) missile whose current development is shared equally by MBB, Aerospatiale and Matra. Although the RM5 manufacturing responsibilities have not yet been clearly defined, Matra is believed to be in charge of the controls and aerodynamics (in 1987, Matra had initiated work on a possible upgraded Roland round called Missat). In addition to the RM5 missile, the next-generation Roland system will incorporate new optronics and computing systems known respectively as Glaive and BKS.

Finished in bright fluorescent red, the Polyphemus (Polyphem in German and Polypheme in French) technology demonstrator round inevitably caught the visitor's attention. Based on an SS12 missile, it carries a television camera from which the pictures are transmitted to the ground via an optical fibre

cable paid out from a bobbin fitted round the tail section. Tests conducted so far enable the Euromissile partners to be very optimistic about the future of the concept, which proved that it could operate over a range of 120 km. The Polyphemus is the first missile to use a duplexed two-way data transmission optical fibre. Potential applications are numerous and range from reconnaissance (including for submarines) to anti-tank and anti-helicopter warfare.

Aerospatiale Helicoptere's wing of the Aerospatiale chalet was dwarfed by the first prototype of the AS 532 Cougar-Orchidee battlefield surveillance helicopter which had made its maiden flight a fortnight earlier (the Orchidee system flown at last year's Paris Air Show was a technology demonstrator). This prototype is based on the Cougar Mk. 1 (new designation of the military version of the Super Puma AS 532), and a Mk. 2-based version is expected to fly soon. (Larger diameter rotor system, longer cabin, Spheriflex rotor head, new four-blade Spheriflex tail rotor. Makila 1A2 turbines with a "super-emergency" 30-second power output of 2 100 hp, new digital autopilot and four-screen EFIS). The first Orchidee of a score ordered by the French Army will be delivered in 1997.

Next to the Orchidee, a Panther featured new cable cutters, chaff launchers and two pairs of Mistrals. Brazil has ordered 36 Panthers and another six were bought by a South African country (NOT South Africa). * Thomson Tubes Electroniques presented its new THX 948 alternative colour plasma display. The screen has been tested at -60 [degrees] C and +125 [degrees] C; according to Thomson these are not the screen's limits but those of the driving electronics. Image regeneration speed is equivalent that of a TV screen (full video compatibility). Thomson is now working on a 24-inch screen with a 0,4 or 0,3mm resolution, increased luminescence and half-tone colours which would make it perfectly suitable for mapping. * Thomson Systemes Electroniques, the systems and software specialist branch of Thomson-CSF, has a finger in many pies. One of the most recent developments is the Aster's Arabel 3-D X-band phased array radar which is now being tested in a close-to-final configuration. * Thomson Brandt Armements displayed its newest cooperative developments: the 120 Griffin, the 155 ACED and the ADW.

Thomson Brandt announced that it had just signed a multinational agreement covering the first phase of the development of the eight-kilometre range 120 mm terminally-guided (millimetre-wave seeker) Griffin mortar bomb. British Aerospace has a 40% stake in the programme, Thomson Brandt 38%, BPD (Italy) 14% and Manufacture d'Armes of Altdorf (Switzerland) 4%.

The 150 mm ACED is another joint programme which includes Thomson Brandt (40%, programme leader and integration), GIAT Industries (30%, warhead and airframe), SAT (15%, optronics) and Thomson-CSF (15%, seeker). The system consists of a gunfired round which carries three dual-mode infrared / millimetre wave-scanning antitank munitions. The ACED, which could be available in 1995, will be an all-weather 25 km-range weapon.

The ADW (Area Defence Weapon) is currently being studied with Ferranti, Diehl and BPD Whitehead to meet a NATO requirement for the end of the decade. The ADW is described as a smart mine system using seismal, acoustic and infrared sensors. * Sextant Avionique, together with Sagem, Gegelec and Serae, has now started the development of the Diademe 2, a new-generation mobile electronics maintenance system for the French Army. One of the new features of the Diademe 2 (in addition to the expected installation of advanced computers) will be its ability to test electro-optical systems and the new systems carried by the Leclerc tank. A first prototype should be available in January 1991. Production is slated for 1995/96. * Dassault Electronique displayed a scaled-down model of its new mastmounted DAV (Dispositif d'Alerte et de Veille) helicopter radar. A development prototype is currently being tested, and Emerson is said to have perceived a potential requirement for the DAV for the US Army's helicopters.

Dassault Electronique, in association with Litef in Germany, is also privately developing the Herald integrated radar and laser detector for helicopters.

PHOTO : The third of six prototypes of the GIAT Industries 54.5-tonne Leclerc is now being

PHOTO : assembled, with production starting in parallel. The first production vehicle is due for

PHOTO : delivery at the end of 1991, by which time the next French five-year defence plan should

PHOTO : have been finalised. The present planned total is 1 400 Leclercs. Main features include:

PHOTO : GIAT/SNFE new-generation modular reactive armour, fully stabilized 120 mm smoothbore

PHOTO : cannon meeting Franco-German specifications and a 1 500 hp supercharged V8 diesel engine

PHOTO : (with a power-to-weight ratio of 28hp/tonne). The new 140 mm gun being developed with

PHOTO : Rheinmetall and Royal Ordnance could be fitted in a slightly modified turret.

PHOTO : The British Aerospace/Thomson Brandt/BPD/M.A. Altdorf Griffin programme is privately

PHOTO : funded and aimed at anticipating a potential NATO requirement for the mid-1990s.

PHOTO : GIAT showed its prototype 52-calibres version of the in-service 39-calibres 155 mm TR

PHOTO : howitzer. It conforms to the new NATO standard chamber volume, and is to be adopted by

PHOTO : France.

PHOTO : Lohr exhibited its pre-production 4.6-tonne VPX 5000 vehicle mounting a Dassault

PHOTO : Electronique Rodeo 2-S radar on a telescopic mast. The Rodeo 2-S is a long range version

PHOTO : of the Rodeo 2. Small hovering helicopters can be detected at 10 km. A helicopter

PHOTO : identification library of eight signatures is incorporated.

PHOTO : The first Gazelle-Mistrals (here shown during firing tests) are scheduled for delivery to

PHOTO : the Armee de Terre in 1992.

PHOTO : GIAT Industries showed the MACPED-ARGES aim-controlled-effect antitank mine system it is

PHOTO : developing in a consortium with Hunting Engineering, Honeywell Sondertechnik and Dynamit

PHOTO : Nobel. Using acoustic, infrared and laser sensors, it acquires the target by laser

PHOTO : detector. The tandem warhead of the rocket defeats all known armour out to 100 metres.

PHOTO : With the RM5, the new Roland will have a useful range of 12 000 metres. Earlier Roland

PHOTO : systems (650 units sold to ten countries) will be upgradable to the new standards.

PHOTO : The Polyphemus concept has enormous advantages; it is comparatively cheap since it does

PHOTO : not carry any expendable sophisticated electronics, it is totally passive and is thus

PHOTO : immune to any known type of electronic countermeasures.

PHOTO : The AMX 30C2, as modified for the Spanish Army. Upgrades from the AMX 30B includes an

PHOTO : 850hp V6 turbocharged MTU B53 KA 501 engine coupled to a Renk ZFLSO 3000 automatic gearbox

PHOTO : with hydromechanical steering; reinforced suspension and new shock absorbers; stabilized

PHOTO : gunner's sight and main armament; new 1525 m/sec APFSDS ammunition; and a digital

PHOTO : fire-control system incorporating a laser range-finder and a thermal imager. A major

PHOTO : international competition to re-engine the French Army's own fleet of 1 400 AMX 30s is now

PHOTO : under way.

PHOTO : The development anti-guerilla version of Panhard's VBL family, fitted with a 12.7 mm

PHOTO : turret and 500 rounds (100 ready to fire), weighs four tonnes and has a crew of three. The

PHOTO : 3.4-tonne basic reconnaissance version and 3.7-tonne combat version (Milan missile and

PHOTO : 7.62 mm MG) are both in service with the French and several foreign armies. A four-tonne

PHOTO : Rover Patrol variant is being offered by Alvis with a Halio Mirror 7.62 mm weapon station

PHOTO : to meet part of the British Army's Future Family of Light Armoured Vehicles (FFLAV)

PHOTO : requirement, and a long-wheelbase reconnaissance version developed with Krupp-MaK and

PHOTO : Daimler-Benz is under evaluation by "an European Army".

PHOTO : The VAB NG provides more than 20 hp/tonne, exceeding the average for this category of

PHOTO : vehicle in the rest of the world.

PHOTO : Shown on the Dassault Electronique stand were these components of the 155 mm Autonomous

PHOTO : Precision-Guided Munition (APGM). Following the withdrawal of the United States and Canada

PHOTO : from the programme on 26 October last year, APGM development is now being continued by an

PHOTO : all-European consortium of Rheinmetall, AEG, GIAT, Dassault Electronique, Selenia, Fokker,

PHOTO : Expal and MKAK.

PHOTO : The new Dassault Electronique mast-mounted S-band doppler radar will be able to detect

PHOTO : low-flying fixed and rotary wing aircraft in a 10 km hemisphere above the rotor.

PHOTO : SOPELEM showed its new LISP monocular observation goggles for day and night operations. An

PHOTO : afocal module provides daylight observation, while the Gen 2 or Gen 3 tube is used at

PHOTO : night. The afocal module has x5.5 magnification and is laser-protected. The night sight

PHOTO : has magnifications of xl, x3 or x5.5, with fields of view of 40 [degrees], 12 [degrees]

PHOTO : and 7 [degrees], respectively.

PHOTO : Upon ejection from the cargo round at a height of 1 000 metres above the tank formation,

PHOTO : the ACED rounds deploy a parachute, scan the area and eventually fire a shaped charge on

PHOTO : the upper surfaces of the targeted tanks from a height of about 100 metres.

PHOTO : The ACMAT VLRA-Atlas carries six rounds stowed under its strengthened platform and

PHOTO : provides all-round fire.

PHOTO : Shown on the Hispano stand was this H23 anti-aircraft turret, fitted with a Dassault

PHOTO : Electronique fire-control system. Developed for the Egyptian Army, it mounts stabilized

PHOTO : twin ZSU-23 cannon (rate of fire 960 rounds/min per tube, muzzle velocity 990 m/sec), two

PHOTO : triple launchers for Sakr Eye SAMs (Egyptian modified versions of the Soviet SA-7), and

PHOTO : two twin smoke grenade-launchers.

PHOTO : The Thomson-CSF eight-colour THX plasma display features a 348 X 348-point flat screen

PHOTO : with a 0.8 mm resolution.

PHOTO : Like the current Diademe shown here, the Sextant Avionique Diademe 2 electronics mobile

PHOTO : maintenance system will automatically do all the paperwork related to each repair.

PHOTO : The Thomson-CSF Orchidee helicopter-borne radar system can detect and locate vehicle

PHOTO : convoys and terrain-hugging helicopter formations at ranges of up to 150 km and analyse

PHOTO : all movements in the search area within a few seconds.

PHOTO : Euromissile's new Atlas Commando launcher for HOT missiles can be mounted on any light

PHOTO : vehicle. With four munitions, total weight is 410 kg. Optional extras are the Mira night

PHOTO : sight and a ground tripod. The system can be manually dismantled and mounted on the ground

PHOTO : tripod in ten minutes.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Armada International
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Furlong, Robert D.M.
Publication:Armada International
Date:Aug 1, 1990
Words:3199
Previous Article:British Army equipment for the nineties.
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