The Private Industrial Repairs (PIR) objectives are fulfilled for Arquus in 2020. The industrial targets have not only been met, but also increased on several programs during the year. The industrial apparatus has demonstrated throughout the year its resilience to the benefit of the armies, by limiting downtime due to the new health conditions, and by adapting the activity schedule to meet the expectations.
2020 is an exceptional year for Arquus’ support activities. Taking all programs together, the company has completed the renovation of 508 vehicles this year, as well as the renovation of more than 2,500 organs. These activities accounted for nearly 30% of Arquus’ total industrial load, a share that is growing year after year.
These results can be credited to the investment made by Arquus’ repair teams throughout the year on all sites and programs. They also reflect the relationship of trust between Arquus, SIMMT (the Integrated Structure in charge of the maintenance of all Army equipment) and SMITer, for the greater benefit of the uptime of the fleets.
Since 2014, the Arquus site in Limoges has been responsible for industrial repair operations on GBC180s. Resulting from a renovation program of the GBC8KT from Berliet, the GBC180 is at the heart of the Army’s logistics, with 5,000 vehicles in service in 2021. Over the years, the site has developed unique expertise in the renovation of GBC180s, acquired in close collaboration with SMITer teams. The current structure, adaptable to the needs of the institution, represents ten workstations.
The initial objective for the year 2020 was to renovate 125 vehicles. Despite the development of the health crisis and a six-week shutdown for safety reasons, the objective has been maintained in agreement with the SIMMT in order to provide the best possible support to the armed forces at the height of the crisis. The first 30 GBC180s were handed over to the armed forces in April 2020, and then deployed on operations. In addition to these 125 refurbishments, Arquus also took charge, at the request of the SIMMT, of lighter repairs on 13 other GBC180s, also carried out at the Limoges site.
By 2019, 150 vehicles had been made available, in line with commitments. With this new series, the total number of GBC180s renovated in Limoges exceeds 675 since 2015 and the first deliveries. The Marolles-en-Hurepoix plant is also contributing to the GBC180 refurbishment operations, by taking charge of mechanical components, including the transfer cases. The initial repair target of 150 transfer cases was maintained despite the health situation, and then increased at the request of the SIMMT. Despite COVID, 160 transfer cases were renovated and returned to the forces before the end of the year.
Since 2004, Marolles has also been repairing mechanical components (engines, axles, gearboxes, transfer cases, etc.) for the French Army’s VBLs and PVPs. These activities, carried out in partnership with the SMITer branch in Marolles, ensure the complete renovation of more than 500 components per year. Marolles has also been repairing complete PVPs since 2018, with 44 vehicles treated in 2020. The plant’s teams volunteered to work on the PVP renovation line on November 11, 2020 to speed up their availability to the forces, in a context of very sustained operational rhythms. These activities, which should continue until 2026, are currently being transferred to the Saint-Nazaire plant.
Since 2006 and the installation of the Operational Maintenance Center (Centre de Maintien en Condition Opérationnelle, CMCO) on a former military base in Garchizy, Arquus ensures, in collaboration with the SMITer antenna present at the CMCO, complete repair services of VAB (Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé) for the benefit of the forces. With 135 projects carried out over the year, the site has delivered its 1,000th renovated VAB in 2020. Since the end of 2019, at the request of the SIMMT, an in order to allow for the maintenance of the training fleet vehicles and to relieve the regiments’ manpower, Arquus has taken over new services, more operational and less regenerative. These activities, which have covered 112 VABs in 2020, are set to grow, with a target of 230 vehicles supported in 2021.
Arquus also aims to offload manpower and optimize the vehicles’ uptime by repairing the components of VABs. In 2020, the Limoges plant took over the renovation of 200 undercarriages, an activity that will continue in 2021, with the possibility of increasing volumes. These renovations are in addition to 600 other more conventional repairs, including engines, gearboxes, and transmissions for VABs. That industrial performance highlights the plants’ adaptability and ability to handle many programs simultaneously. Arquus can regenerate vehicles à la carte and according to the customer’s wishes, from light repairs (brakes, oil changes, filters, belts…) to the most in-depth (parts replacement, renovations, or improvements). These capabilities ensure the long-term support of equipment in service, including older vehicles. These new activities allow a finer adaptation to the needs of the forces, from 200 hours for light renovations to 800 hours for a complete regeneration.
Since 2014, Garchizy is also in charge of the deep curative maintenance (Maintenance Curative Profonde, MCP) of the CBH385, carried out in close collaboration with the Operational Energy Service (Service de l’Energie Opérationnelle, formerly Service des Essences des Armées, SEA). Initially planned for 40 vehicles, the series has been extended to 50 trucks, the last of which was presented in the last quarter of 2020. These MCP operations have restored great potential to vehicles of crucial importance in external operations, to the satisfaction of the forces. Lastly, 10 TRM10000CLDs were renovated at the Garchizy plant in 2020, out of a target of 12 vehicles set during the year. This activity, carried out in partnership with the 12th BSMAT in NeuvyPailloux, is currently being transferred to Saint-Nazaire.
In Saint-Nazaire, 33 VLRAs were to be renovated in 2020, a target raised to 37 at the beginning of the year. Despite the COVID situation, the decision was made to confirm this target and even to take on additional VLRAs, with lighter repairs, for a total of 41 vehicles and trailers. The repair teams encountered many additional technical problems and obsolescence, which led to some delays in meeting this new target. A total of 29 vehicles were handed over to the forces in 2020, with the remaining 12 being delivered in early 2021. This result is the result of a real teamwork between Arquus, the SIMMT and the SMITer branch in Marolles, with experience sharing, vehicle and parts stocks made available to ensure the fastest possible return of VLRAs to the units.