French company Arquus presents Sherpa Scout armored vehicle at WDS 2024
At the World Defense Show 2024 in Saudi Arabia, French defense company Arquus is showcasing its Sherpa Scout. This moment is pivotal for Arquus, a leading supplier to the French Army and several Middle Eastern armed forces, especially after its acquisition by the Belgian defense firm John Cockerill Defense.
Arquus, known previously as Renault Trucks Defense, has engineered the Sherpa to fulfill a variety of roles, from rapid response and incursion to supporting light units like paratroopers, marines, and internal security forces. Its design enables operation on challenging terrain and water crossing up to 75 cm deep without needing a submerged wiper, thanks to its four-wheel drive and sturdy build. The vehicle’s armor provides second-level Stanag 4569 protection, and its engine is rated at a sixth level, indicating a balance between mobility and security. The Sherpa Scout measures 5.43 m in length, 2.36 m in width, and 2.13 m in height, with a total weight of 11 tons and a maximum payload capacity of 4.15 tons.
The Sherpa Scout is equipped with advanced armament options, including an open-top turret or a remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) for calibers up to 12.7 mm. This feature enhances situational awareness and protection, with weapons controlled from inside the vehicle using a joystick and LCD video screen. The conventional layout includes the engine at the front, a middle compartment for crew and troops, and a rear cargo space. It accommodates up to 5 soldiers, with two doors on each side featuring bulletproof windows and firing ports. The vehicle boasts a large interior volume and payload capacity, ensuring protection against light arms fire and mine blasts.
Powered by a Deutz 1013 or Volvo MD5 diesel engine ranging from 180 to 265 HP, the Sherpa Scout offers exceptional mobility. It can reach speeds up to 110 km/h and has a maximum range of 1,000 km. Its high ground clearance and mobility systems allow it to overcome almost any obstacle.
The Sherpa family includes several models to meet a wide range of operational needs: the Sherpa Scout for liaison and reconnaissance, the Carrier for troop or systems transport, the APC for protected troop transport, and the Sherpa Special Forces for deep penetration missions. Each variant is built on a common platform, ensuring ease of maintenance and operational flexibility. The Sherpa has been certified by NATO and the French Army, demonstrating compliance with the strictest international standards.
Since its debut at Eurosatory 2006, the Sherpa has been recognized for its compactness, exceptional mobility, and significant payload capacity, enhancing its adaptability and upgrade potential. This has led to operational deployment, with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) ordering Sherpas for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Additionally, countries like Chile, Lebanon, and Indonesia have integrated Sherpa vehicles into their security forces. Special versions, such as the Assault Ladder for combating organized crime and terrorism, have been adopted by India, the Brazilian Federal Police, and the French GIGN. The Sherpa also has a significant presence in the Middle East, with, as of 2022, 100 Sherpa Scouts in the Saudi Arabian army and over 300 in the Kuwaiti army.
The production of Sherpa vehicles at Arquus’ Limoges site since 2006 marks a significant milestone in the French defense industry, with over 1,000 units produced over 14 years. The contribution from the Garchizy plant in providing armored hulls highlights a comprehensive industrial organization prioritizing quality and performance. The record year of 2019 for the Limoges factory, with more than 200 vehicles produced, demonstrates Arquus’ capacity to maintain a high production pace, further solidifying the Sherpa’s market position. Today, new developments and opportunities are emerging for the company following its acquisition by John Cockerill Defense.