France’s defence procurement arm, the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA), has placed a €120m ($129.6m) order for its first tranche of new generation tank transportation vehicles with Arquus, a trilateral venture between Renault Trucks Defense, Acmat and Panhard.

These vehicles will carry numerous container tanks; this should not be mistaken for the platform.

Initially the French Army, Air and Space Forces will induct 70 8×8 all-terrain carriers – the first tranche of 376 vehicles to be delivered in total between 2024 and 2030.

This versatile and rigid vehicle can support a range of missions for armies, such as logistics and strategic transport, carrying tankers and systems, or vehicle breakdown recovery.

Arquus will work alongside Magyar (tank manufacturer) and Desautel (fire protection services).

Two versions will be produced:

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  • Mass transport trucks with a 20m³ tank and a single line supply. These will all have a protected cabin;
  • Multi-purpose trucks with a 12m³ tank and four line supply. These will have either protected or unprotected cabins.

These new generation carriers will gradually replace the Armed Forces’ existing CBH385, TRM 10000 ACH tanker trucks (tank-helicopter refueler) and CCP10.

“They will offer greater capacity fuel carriage and a better level of protection of crews against threats of the battlefield,” the DGA suggested.

Currently, the French Army operate 899 8×8 multi-purpose carriers that perform logistical and multi-purpose missions according to GlobalData intelligence. They are manufactured by the Italian Iveco company and have armour level 2 STANAG 4569 mine and ballistic protection.

Logistics multipurpose carrier with protection device. Credit: Armée de Terre.

The new generation Arquus carriers will also gradually replace the Armed Forces’ other vehicles, including the CBH385, TRM 10000 ACH tanker trucks (tank-helicopter refueler) and CCP10, the DGA confirmed.

Arquus has a well-established industrial base based solely within France specially designed for military applications.

The 8×8 carrier is equipped with ATC (Automatic Traction Control) electronic power train management, giving optimum mobility on all types of terrain. At the same time it provides savings on fuel consumption, tyres and axle wear. It can be automated and hybridised on request with other supplementary Arquus technologies. To ensure the safety of the crew, Arquus offers a ballistic and mine-protected cab version in compliance with STANAG 4569, the same level as its existing trucks.