The logistical component of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces (RMAF) is about to receive further boost as French Arquus will supply 300 units of its Véhicule de Liaison de Reconnaissance et d’Appui / Liaison, Reconnaissance and Support Vehicle (VLRA 2) 4×4 light tactical vehicles to Morocco.
The 300 VLRA-2 4×4 light tactical military vehicles will strengthen the firepower and mobility of Morocco’s special forces units. The acquisition follows an earlier deal which saw Arquus (formerly Renault Trucks Defence) delivering 36 Sherpa light scout armoured vehicles.
A live video broadcast held on 10 March by Emmanuel Levacher, CEO of French group Arquus confirmed the sale. Emmanuel Levacher explained that the VLRA is a “family of light tactical vehicles,” and that the end of 2020 ushered in “a very interesting and promising market of 300 VLRA 4×4 tactical vehicles for the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces.”
Designed and developed by the French company ACMAT now part of ARQUUS, formerly Renault Truck Defense. The VLRA was unveiled in 2012 during the defense exhibition Eurosatory in Paris, France.
The chassis features several proven capabilities, including sharing the high ground clearance and a full time all wheel drive (AWD) system. It can handle a payload between 2 and 4.5 tons or up to 17 military personnel.
The VLRA 2 is optimised for special operations, and offers ballistics protection up to Level 4 NATO standard, landmine protection (Levels 2A and 2B) as well as mine protection.
“VLRA is already in service in numerous countries across the world and is employed in the most demanding theaters of operations,” the group said on the vehicles.
Compared with the VLRA1, the new vehicle is heavier, has a larger cargo capacity. The vehicle by a EURO 5 emissions compliant diesel engine coupled to a six-speed ZF manual or five-speed automatic gearbox. It has a maximum cruising range of 1,400 km and can reach a top speed of 110 km/h. There’s a cargo area at the rear of the vehicle.
The new VLRA can be armed with different types of small weapons including 7.62 or 12.7mm machine guns as well as 40mm automatic grenade launcher or air defense missile system.
In recent times, Morroco has becomes a major customers of the French Defense Industry as part of its plan to strengthen its military equipment and mobilization capabilities.
Morocco imports 9.2% of arms from France, according to a recent report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI.)
Early last year. Rabat acquired 36 CAESAR 155mm wheeled self-propelled howitzer manufactured by the French company Nexter under a 200 million euro deal, as well as VL MICA surface-to-air missiles and 36 Sherpa armoured vehicles, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s arms transfers database.