President and CEO of Arquus to «ALJUNDI»: We are proud of our defense partnership with the UAE

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The French company Arquus is considered one of the leading companies in the field of advanced defense vehicles‭. ‬It has established a distinguished position for itself in equipping various armies of the world with military vehicles operating according to the highest international standards‭.‬


In order to shed light on this French company and its fields of work and products‭, ‬Al Jundi Journal met with Mr‭. ‬Emmanuel Levacher‭, ‬President and CEO of Arquus‭, ‬and had the following dialogue with him‭:‬

Can you talk to us about Arquus‮ ‬and its fields of work in general‭, ‬and about the most prominent products that the company‮ ‬offers‭ ‬to its customers‭, ‬and what is the extent of satisfaction and demand for them‭?‬

The Arquus brand is young‭, ‬but it is firmly standing on some of the oldest names in the French Defense industry‭: ‬Renault Trucks‭ ‬Defense‭, ‬Acmat‭, ‬Panhard‭, ‬SOMUA‭, ‬Berliet‮…‬

Arquus is a pioneer in the field of Defense vehicles‭, ‬having supplied the very first motor vehicle to the French Army all the way back to 1904‭, ‬a Panhard 24‭ ‬HP‭, ‬a vehicle which was then turned into the first actual motor combat vehicle‭, ‬after the integration of a machine gun‭. ‬Through the Panhard epic‭, ‬and their long history of breakthrough‭, ‬cutting-edge vehicles‭, ‬many of which have‭ ‬made or still make history‭, ‬such as the AMD‭, ‬the AML‭, ‬the EBR or the VBL‭, ‬Arquus is arguably the oldest and most experienced company in the field of light armored vehicles for reconnaissance and combat‭. ‬

We make a point of reflecting on our great ancestors‭, ‬who inspire us with their pioneer mentality and their ability to work as closely as possible with the military and their industrial partners to define the equipment the Army needed‭, ‬often before that need was even perceived by the commanding officers‭. ‬That is what Arquus is all about‭: ‬vision and synergy‭, ‬at the service of the armies‭. ‬

Port Marly, France le 6 et 7 Juillet 2021 : Technodays Arquus.

For the present‭, ‬Arquus is a major partner of the French Army‭, ‬with 25,000‭ ‬vehicles currently in service‭, ‬from the VAB APC to the TRM10000‭ ‬heavy duty truck and from the VBL reconnaissance vehicle to the VBCI IFV‭, ‬developed in partnership with Nexter‭. ‬Arquus is heavily involved in the modernization of the combat capabilities of the French Army‭, ‬being part of a consortium with Nexter‭ ‬and Thales to design and manufacture the new Griffon and Jaguar combat vehicles which will equip the French Army‭, ‬but also the‭ ‬Belgian Land Component‭. ‬On top of the design and manufacture of the mobility of these vehicles‭, ‬Arquus is in charge of the RCWS‭ ‬which equip all the new vehicles of the French Army‭, ‬which are known as the Hornet RCWS‭. ‬

On top of that‭, ‬Arquus is a partner to more than 60‭ ‬countries around the world‭, ‬with best-sellers such as the Bastion‭, ‬the Sherpa Light‭, ‬the VLRA or the VAB Mk3‭, ‬to name just a few‭. ‬Our ranges of light vehicles‭, ‬tactical vehicles‭, ‬special forces vehicles‭, ‬logistics trucks‭, ‬from 4×4‭ ‬to 8×8‭, ‬can answer the demands of any customer‭. ‬They are designed and manufactured in France‭, ‬with the highest standards available‭, ‬benefitting from more than a century of expertise and work at the service of the armies‭. ‬And we also build on partnerships worldwide‭!‬

All our vehicles are combat proven on several occasions‭, ‬and fully meet the expectations of our customers‭. ‬Several already serve‭ ‬in various armies in the Gulf region‭, ‬such as the Sherpa Light or the VAB which are specifically thought for such environments‭.‬‭ ‬

Moreover‭, ‬we have been supporting armies on all continents throughout their deployments and operations for decades‭, ‬on the most‭ ‬demanding environments‭, ‬starting with the French Army‭, ‬for which we support more than 20,000‭ ‬vehicles of all kinds‭. ‬For that purpose‭, ‬we benefit from teams of highly qualified technical experts‭, ‬as well as a dedicated platform and a global network for worldwide logistics‭. ‬

We also heavily invest in innovation to keep on top‭, ‬with notable axis such as new energies‭, ‬hybrid drive being the most promising one on the short term‭, ‬automation and protection‭. ‬That also includes several other innovations aimed at easing the mission for both the operatives on the battlefield and the maintenance teams which support them‭.‬

How important‮ ‬is the UAE and‮ ‬GCC market to‮ ‬Arquus‮ ‬‭?‬

The UAE and France have been partners for many years in many fields‭, ‬including Defense cooperation‭. ‬That partnership is illustrated by the presence of the 5th Regiment of Cuirassiers in Abu Dhabi‭, ‬which fields several combat and support vehicles from Arquus‭. ‬The UAE are an essential player in the Gulf Cooperation Council and in the Gulf region as a whole‭, ‬and their Armed Forces are‭ ‬a reference in the region‭. ‬The UAE are also the hosts of our most important trade show outside of Eurosatory‭, ‬IDEX‭, ‬which is the central in our commercial endeavors‭. ‬

Moreover‭, ‬the UAE Defense Industry is renowned for its very high level of quality and the excellence of its production‭, ‬and Arquus would be very interested to create new industrial cooperations or even localize some activities depending on the needs or the‭ ‬programs‭. ‬

What are your most prominent projects for the next stage‭?‬

Our current efforts for France are aimed at the new generation of tactical and logistics trucks‭, ‬for which we have developed the‭ ‬Armis family‭, ‬but also at what is known as the VBAE program‭, ‬which aims at replacing the reconnaissance and scouting capabilities of the French Army‭. ‬We have thus developed the Scarabee which‭, ‬as you recall‭, ‬was launched officially at IDEX 2021‭. 

On top of these two projects‭, ‬we are working to create new synergies and increase our presence on all continents‭, ‬building on our range‭, ‬but also on our mobility solutions and services which allow for large-scale cooperation to meet all needs‭. ‬

What are your company future plans‮ ‬‭? ‬and How do you see the company changing in two years‭?‬

We have launched Arquus in 2018‭, ‬four years ago‭, ‬and the company has already changed massively during the past few years‭. ‬We have inaugurated a new industrial strategy with new production methods and a specialty for each of our industrial plants‭. ‬From now‭ ‬on‭, ‬all our new vehicles are produced in Limoges‭, ‬all repairs are done in Saint-Nazaire‭, ‬and so on‭. ‬That strategy has further increased the quality and responsiveness of our production‭, ‬for the benefit of our customers and partners‭. ‬

We plan to keep innovating as we go‭, ‬to keep perfecting our vehicles and stay at the top of the existing capabilities in Defense‭: ‬autonomous convoys‭, ‬new generation protection‭, ‬systems integration‭, ‬remote-control driving‭, ‬HUMS‮…‬‭ ‬And we intend to provide with this innovation for our most demanding customers‭, ‬among which the UAE‭.‬

What are your recent‮ ‬biggest accomplishments in the defense sector‭?‬

Our most recent accomplishment was the delivery of 119‭ ‬new Griffon 6×6‭ ‬combat vehicles for the French Army in 2021‭, ‬alongside our partners Nexter and Thales‭. ‬The vehicle was also deployed for the first time ever in operation overseas‭, ‬which meant getting all its functions and support systems ready on time‭. ‬Overcoming the COVID situation was a challenge which we achieved thanks to the complete involvement of our teams at the service of the armies‭. ‬

Tell us about your experience and participation in IDEX‮ ‬2021‭, ‬and did it meet your expectations‭?‬

IDEX is always a major event for us‭. ‬This year was an even more important milestone for us‭, ‬as it was the first trade show for almost a year‭, ‬and we had a lot to show to our partners in the UAE and the Middle East‭. ‬This is why we took the opportunity to unveil and launch commercially our very latest products‭: ‬the Scarabee and the Hornet Business Unit‭, ‬dedicated to the marketing of‭ ‬the Hornet range of RCWS‭. ‬Both products have received an excellent welcome from all at IDEX and we have been very pleased with the exhibition‭. ‬We have already started working on the next edition‭.‬

What new products is ARQUUS‮ ‬offering the UAE‮ ‬and Gulf region‭?‬

As I said‭, ‬Arquus does have a complete range of products and services to meet essentially all the needs of any army in the Gulf‭ ‬region‭. ‬

We have already received many signs of interest from various countries for the Scarabee‭. ‬It is the very first hybrid-drive military vehicle‭, ‬but also a very mature reconnaissance and combat vehicle which would be available very quickly for new customers‭. ‬As Arquus’‭ ‬most advanced vehicle‭, ‬it is equipped with all our expertise in terms of mobility‭, ‬with its thermal engine and its electrical engine totaling 400hp for about 8‭ ‬tons and its rear steering axle‭, ‬electrical power thanks to its production and storage capabilities‭, ‬protection‭, ‬systems integration‭. ‬Innovation is not an objective per se‭, ‬but we believe that the new generation of combat vehicles will need immensely higher capabilities to allow for the stealth‭, ‬autonomy and mobility needed on the battlefield‭, ‬as well as all the power-consuming systems required for modern combat‭. ‬

Since the Scarabee integrates several different technological bricks‭, ‬its industrialization and production could very well be open to partnerships‭. ‬It could even be produced locally with a high level of involvement from companies from the Gulf‭, ‬thus creating new industrial and technological cooperation‭.‬

The Hornet range is also an excellent contender for future RCWS procurements in the region‭. ‬A top-tier solution‭, ‬already qualified and used by the French Army‭, ‬it includes a wide array of cameras and sensors‭, ‬a self-defense weapon‭, ‬but also self-protection‭ ‬solutions thanks to its independent smoke grenade launcher ring‭. ‬

Would you like to send any message through Al Jundi Journal to the defense community in general‭, ‬or in the UAE in particular‭?‬

Thank you very much for hosting us today and see you at Eurosatory 2022‭ ‬in Paris‭!


Emmanuel LEVACHER‭, ‬President and CEO of ARQUUS

‭ ‬59‭ ‬years‭, ‬graduated from Ecole de Management of Lyon‭, ‬from Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris and from INSEAD‭ (‬CEDEP‭). ‬

Has held multiple operational and strategic functions in contact with markets on the five continents‭, ‬during his rich career‭, ‬30‭ ‬years in the automobile industry‭ (‬Renault Trucks‭, ‬Renault‭, ‬Volvo‭) ‬

‭ ‬Has also built a solid experience with French and foreign governments‭, ‬state authorities and public and diplomatic institutions‭.‬

‭ ‬By‭: ‬Jasem Shahin Al Blooshi

Al Jundi

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