Nexter teams with Greek partner to propose IFV for Hellenic Army
Nexter has signed a strategic partnership with state-run Hellenic Defence Systems (HDS) to meet a Hellenic Army requirement for modernised IFVs, in the latest manifestation of the close Franco-Greek defence relationship.
The two firms are proposing a solution called Philoctetes, which was first unveiled in July 2021 at the DEFEA exhibition in Athens.
Philoctetes is a VBCI-2 8x8 vehicle with a two-person Nexter T40 turret featuring a 40mm CTAS cannon and MBDA medium-range missile launcher.
The 32t VBCI-2 includes multiple variants (APC, command post, 120mm mortar, medevac and vehicle recovery), and Nexter stated that it is applying feedback from the French Army in the design of the Philoctetes IFV.
For example, the new IFV envisaged for the Hellenic Army will include a 600hp engine to ensure ‘very high tactical, strategic and operational mobility’, Nexter claimed. Previous versions of VBCI-2 feature a Volvo D13 diesel engine generating up to 500hp.
The Greek Army operates a fleet of tracked APCs numbering more than 2,600 vehicles. Types include Cold War-era designs such as the BMP-1A1 Ost, the Leonidas I and II (locally-produced versions of the Steyr 4K-7FA-G17) and various versions of the M113, all of which fall short in their lethality, mobility and protection when compared with modern designs.
Shephard Defence Insight forecasts a Hellenic Army requirement for 500 vehicles – at a modelled unit price of $5.5 million, this would the overall cost of procuring Philoctetes at $2.8 billion.
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