Moroccan special forces gets 36 Arquus Sherpa tactical vehicle

Morocco has acquired Arquus (formerly Renault Trucks Defence) Sherpa light scout armoured vehicles for use by its special forces. The agreement signed between Morocco and France involves the delivery of 36 Sherpa light 4×4 tactical vehicles in two variants including Light Scout and Light APC (Armored Personnel Carrier).

Regarding the limited number of vehicles ordered in two different variants, Military Africa understands that this is to support and accompany the artillery systems on truck Caesar ordered from Nexter. Also, other strategic units of the Royal Moroccan Army such as the Artillery and mechanized infantry already operate more than 2 000 Humvee americans, heavily armed (missiles, Tow, Milan, HJ8, Konkurs, machine guns, 12.7), designed by AM General and Vamtac manufacturer’s Spanish Urovesa in the configuration ambulances.

Recently, Morocco ordered a number of French Military equipment, including air defence systems from MBDA (possibly VL MICA systems) and 40 Ceasar 155 mm self-propelled artillery systems from Nexter. Likewise, in January, France delivered three Harfang (Heron) unmanned aerial vehicles. Years ago, Morocco signed an agreement for two Military grade satellites, Ariana space has successfully launched one of them.

The Sherpa armoured vehicle is currently comprised of four basic models : the Sherpa Scout, a reconnaissance vehicle armored with capacity for four to five soldiers, the Carrier, (with a rear flat bed) which is specially equipped for the transport of troops and / or communication systems, the APC and the Sherpa Special Forces, for missions of infiltration.

The Sherpa has a gross vehicle mass of 11 tons with a 3.3 ton payload. It can be transported by 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.

The Scout variant (former Sherpa 2), available in unarmored or armored variants, is ideally suited for tactical missions such as scouting, patrol, convoy escort, and command and liaison.

The Sherpa Light Scout can carry up to 5 military personnel including driver and commander. The vehicle can be fitted with a manual turret or remotely operated weapon station armed with a machine gun up to 12.7 mm. It can be easily transported by military aircraft as A400m or C-130. The vehicle is already in service by NATO members, France, and other countries.

So far, more than 1 000 Sherpas have been built, the vehicle has seen service with 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.

Darek Liam

Darek Liam is the North African editor for AMB, where he writes about the intersection of Technology and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as African Union correspondent.

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