April 25 (UPI) -- French companies Nexter, Renault Trucks Defense and Thales are to produce more than 300 newly designed armored vehicles for the French military, the companies announced on Monday.
The platforms are the Griffon, a 6x6 multi-role personnel carrier, and the 6x6 Jaguar, which is armed with a 40mm gun and anti-tank missiles.
The Griffon is expected to replace VAB Hot personnel carriers now used by the French Army, while the Jaguar is to supplant the army's wheeled light tanks.
The initial production order from DGA, the French military procurement agency, is for 319 Griffons and 19 Jaguars. It comes after just 27 months of development of the vehicles under the government's SCORPION program.
"We are proud of this new sign of confidence on the part of the French Procurement Agency and can't wait to start producing this new equipment, which will project the operational capabilities of the army to the future, " Jean-François Pellarin, director of the SCORPION program within the Temporary Business Grouping that will build the vehicles, said in a press release.
Deliveries of the Griffon are expected to begin next year. Deliveries of the Jaguar will begin in 2020.