French military puts Griffon armored vehicle through its pace in Djibouti

French military forces based in the Horn of Africa has received two VBMR Griffon wheeled armored vehicles for operational testing in Djibouti’s weather conditions.

The operational testing is being conducted ahead of planned deployment with the ongoing French-led Operation Barkhane counter-terror intervention.

VBMR undergoing testing, note the slat armor
VBMR Griffon after delivery in Djibouti at the 5 RIAOM’s barracks. No machine gun is fitted yet on the Hornet RWS (French army)

The Two Griffon wheeled armoured combat vehicles have been embedded with the French Army’s 5th Overseas Interarms Regiment.

The Griffons first ten days in Africa saw it pushing sands in Djibouti’s semi-desert terrain, the impact of the hot desert conditions and terrains on essential component of the vehicle was assessed. Components like the chassis, weapon system, Hornet RWS, GPS link were tested in the extreme condition.

According to the French military, the tests began during a firing exercise organized by the SGTIA-level (Sous-Groupement Tactique InterArmes) exercise organized by the 5th Overseas Interarms Regiment (5 RIAOM, Régiment InterArmes d’Outre-Mer), a future user of the Griffon wheeled armored vehicle.

French troops practiced embarkation and disembarkation, then the Griffon, equipped with a 12.7mm machinegun, fired at targets.

Also, various driving sequences took place, marked by their first Galix (smoke grenades, from Lacroix) firing or tests of small equipment such as straps, cable cutter and winch.

Djibouti’s arid desert-like conditions is ideally suited for this type of testing exercises. It provides a similar environment in which the Griffons would soon be deployed in.

The first deployment to Mali is scheduled for 2022.

The Griffon 6×6 multi-role armoured vehicles (VBMR) was developed by developed by a consortium of French companies, comprising Nexter Systems, Renault Trucks Defense, and Thales. It can be configured for various roles such as troop transport, command post, artillery observation vehicle, recovery, refuelling, and medical evacuation.

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