By: Adlinna A Alim
French defence company Arquus announced May 19 that it has completed production of the 1,000th Sherpa armoured vehicle from its Limoges facility. This marks a major milestone for the Sherpa family of vehicles, which was launched in 2006. The vehicle, which made its debut at the Eurosatory defence show of the same year, has been praised for its compactness, exceptional mobility and large payload; these advantages provide the vehicle with high versatility and upgradability.
Since then, various forces have quickly acknowledged these capabilities. The NSPA (Nato Support and Procurement Agency) has notably ordered Sherpa vehicles in a communications systems carrier version for the ISAF (International Security Assistance Forces), then deployed in Afghanistan. Chile, Lebanon and Indonesia have also acquired Sherpa vehicles to reinforce their police and security forces’ capabilities.
The vehicle has been deployed to many theatres of operations in various configurations. This success testifies to the quality of the design and production of the Sherpa range of vehicles, taking into account feedbacks received from the fields. Its proven capability enables it to fulfil the missions of the modern defence and security forces.
The Sherpa family comprised of four base models: the Sherpa Scout, an armoured vehicle for liaison and reconnaissance seating four or five soldiers, also available in the Station Wagon version; the Carrier, fitted with a bed for troop or systems transport; the APC, for troop protected transport; and the Sherpa Special Forces, designed for missions behind the enemy lines.
An Assault Ladder version was then developed by Arquus in 2014 to provide with unprecedented capabilities to fight organised crime and terrorism. India, the Brazilian Federal Police, as well as the French GIGN have soon selected that version. The Sherpa Assault Ladder is deployed on all the Group’s delicate intervention operations. In 2016, then French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, announced a contract for 300 Sherpa vehicles to be delivered to Kuwaït. These vehicles have been the highlight of the DGA 2019 show in Kuwaït City.