30/06/2020 – Morocco has apparently ordered 36 Sherpa armoured vehicles from France’s Arquus, in Light Scout and Light Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) models.
This is according to France’s DSI Magazine, which gave no further details on the acquisition and there has been no comment available from Arquus (formerly Renault Trucks Defence).
The acquisition is the latest in a string of orders for French military equipment, and comes on the heels of Morocco’s order for air defence systems from MBDA (believed to be VL MICA systems) and 40 Caesar 155 mm self-propelled artillery systems from Nexter. In January, Morocco received three Harfang (Heron) unmanned aerial vehicles from France. France and Morocco enjoy close economic and defence ties – between 2008 and 2018, France sold Morocco some 1.8 billion euros worth of military equipment, including two satellites.
The Sherpa was launched in 2006 and is produced in four variants: the Sherpa Scout seating four to five soldiers, Carrier (with a flat bed at the rear), APC for troop transport and Sherpa Special Forces. Over 1 000 Sherpas have been built for entities like Nato (the International Security Assistance Forces have used the vehicle in Afghanistan) and countries such as Chile, Kuwait, Lebanon and Indonesia. An Assault Ladder version has been acquired by India, Brazil and France for police/security missions.
The Sherpa has a gross vehicle mass of 11 tons with a 3.3 ton payload. It is air transportable in C-130 and A400M aircraft. With engines up to 265 hp, it has a maximum road speed of 110 km/h and range of 1 000 km. The vehicle can be fitted with a manual turret or remotely operated weapon station armed with a machine gun up to 12.7 mm.
The Sherpa APC version can carry up to ten people including driver and commander and is available with two or four side doors. Various armour options are available for landmine and ballistic protection.