Walloon consortium bids for mega armoured vehicle maintenance contract

The Ministry of Defence wants to conclude a 30-year strategic partnership for the maintenance of the new armoured vehicles, the Griffon and the Jaguar. A consortium around Walloon companies John Cockerill and FN Herstal and French group Thales is bidding for the mega-contract, writes the newspaper De Tijd on Tuesday. 

In November last year, a €1.7 billion deal was struck between the Belgian state and FN Herstal for the supply of arms and ammunition over the next 20 years. Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder (PS) had already announced that further such megadeals would follow. Her cabinet now confirms that such an agreement is coming for the maintenance of the new armoured vehicles - the Griffon and the Jaguar - bought by our army in France. The deal is part of the close cooperation between Belgium and France for the army, just as there is a close relationship between Belgium and the Netherlands for the navy.

The maintenance contract for the new armoured vehicles will be allocated by the end of this year, will run over 30 years and will involve several billion euros. The partnership also provides for the construction of a maintenance hall in Rocourt, which already houses the arsenal. The borough of Liege should become the main military maintenance centre in Belgium. A consortium of Belgian companies, including bigwigs such as John Cockerill, FN Herstal, and French group Thales, seems to be the big contender to reel in the contract. 

The new maintenance contract aims to provide long-term guarantees so that Belgian companies can invest and Defence has the security of having a fleet that is well maintained and deployable, minister Dedonder said.


A French soldier is seen in front of an armoured vehicle during an annual exercise bringing together more than a thousand French and Belgian soldiers in the south of Hainaut province and the south-west of Namur province, in November 2022 © BELGA PHOTO GERARD GAUDIN

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