In autumn 2018, the Belgian government had completed three major files for Defense: the acquisition of American combat aircraft, the renewal of mine hunters and frigates, and the purchase of new generation wheeled armored vehicles to France.
The industries of France had finally won the supply of new buildings for the fight against mines as well as the delivery of armored vehicles for the land component. “A nice jackpot in the latter case: a commitment of 1.6 billion euros is planned for the purchase of 382 Griffon and 60 Jaguar vehicles from a French consortium bringing together Nexter, Thales and Arquus.
The market, called CaMo (motorized capacity) in Belgium, was passed from government to government, without a call for tenders”, recalls the Echo. At the time, the French manufacturers were persuasive and promised benefits to several Belgian companies, including FN Herstal and John Cockerill (at the time CMI).
But three and a half years later, it is the disillusionment for John Cockerill, who hoped to carry out in Wallonia the final assembly of the Griffons and the turret of the Jaguars. “The latest news is not going in the right direction at all”, regrets Jean-Luc Maurange, CEO of John Cockerill. “Discussions dragged on. We were asked to go through certain calls for tenders. We forget the promises that were made. However, there are political and contractual commitments in terms of localization and returns that had been made” , adds the boss.
The final assembly of the two vehicles would be awarded to a company in the north of the country, says L’Echo.