13e DBLE: First VBMR Griffons arrived

Between March 10 and 12, 2021, the 13th Foreign Legion Half Brigade (13e DBLE) was receiving its first Multi-Role Armored Vehicles (VBMR), nicknamed Griffon. Part of the 2019-2025 modernization of the French Army, these armored personnel carriers are designed to replace the outdated Armored Frontline Vehicles (VAB), in service since 1976.

The VBMR Griffons were delivered to the regiment’s military base at Camp Larzac (at La Cavalerie, southern France) between last Wednesday and Friday. The 13e DBLE possesses ten Griffons now. Produced since 2018, the vehicles could be equipped with 12,7 mm or 7,62 machine guns, or with an automatic 40 mm grenade launcher; they protect their passengers from ballistic (up to 14,5 mm caliber), mortar (up to 155 mm caliber), anti-mines, improvised explosive device (IED), nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical, or fire risks. See more specifications here: VBMR Griffon.

The first-time trainers of the Legion completed their Griffon course at Camp of Garrigues (a military camp close to Nimes) in November 2020. During the year 2021, they will train the future Griffon drivers and gunners among the 13e DBLE legionnaires.

The 13th Half Brigade’s 3rd and 4th Companies will receive priority training. In 2022, these two companies will be deployed to Operation Barkhane in Mali, West Africa, and equipped with Griffons vehicles, as the implementation of the SCORPION program to renew and modernize the French Army’s combat capabilities. First 32 Griffons to participate in an operational deployment are planned for this summer, according to the French Army.

The 13e DBLE left the United Arab Emirates in 2016, having only 70 permanent members at the time. After its installation in France, the regiment increased into the strength of some 1,300 men. The current 13e DBLE is organized as a modern infantry unit of a new generation within the French Army.

In mid-2017, the 13e DBLE became the first French Army regiment to receive HK 416 F, the new French Army assault rifle. It also belongs among the first French units to receive Griffons.

13e DBLE: First VBMR Griffons

13e DBLE: First VBMR Griffons

13e DBLE: First VBMR Griffons

VBMR Griffon

Info & images source: French Armed Forces official website

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