The group of decorative griffons, originating from Belgium, includes the actual Belgian griffins, Brussels griffins and bird-rabbansons, which until the beginning of the 20th century. were considered as one breed.
It is believed that the founders of the Belgian griffons are German affen-pinchers, however, some researchers believe that, on the contrary, affen-pinchers came from griffins. But undoubtedly the kinship of the Belgian Griffon and Affen Pinscher. Despite disagreements among dog handlers, they agree that the ancestors of modern Belgian griffins appeared no later than the 30s. XV century
On one of the most famous paintings by the Flemish painter Van Dyck “The couple Arnolfini”, written in 1434, you can see the first reliable image of the ancestor of the modern neck stamp, located at the feet depicted in the picture of a married couple.
Another undeniable image of this dog is on the portrait of Henry III by Jacobo de Empoli.
It is assumed that the ancestors of the griffon were originally bred for hunting rats in warehouses, in ports and for protecting houses, but over time, these miniature dogs became very popular with the aristocracy and turned into pets.
These decorative indoor dogs originated in Belgium, in 1880 they were shown to the world. To date, the breed is popular in Europe, but not in Russia.
Many dog handlers are sure that the griffins are descended from German affin pinschers. But some are sure that these pinchers came from griffons. Both of these breeds are closely related.
When the griffins first appeared, they led a different lifestyle - they caught rats and rodents. Dogs lived in a warehouse. They arrived at the house much later. Later, the rat catcher dog was taken into the royal family. So this dog turned into a charming aristocrat.
Gradually, the griffon spread around the world - there are many legends and stories about them. There is also a sad story - the Queen of Serbia named Draga had a dog of this breed. Dredge was afraid to be poisoned, and therefore always gave each dog a try. Once the dog was poisoned, it was not possible to save the dog.
In Russia, this dog is rare because there is little information about it, and accordingly, there are few kennels.
Griffins are medium sized dogs. Despite their small size, they have a strong and strong physique, but a light skeleton.
Representatives of this breed have a highly developed mustache, as well as a beard and eyebrows. All this gives a characteristic facial expression to dogs. The head of the dogs is large, but the skull is not wide. The muzzle is long, rectangular in shape. Eyes set deep, but always visible due to eyebrows. Eye color is amber yellow or light brown. The nose is small, brown. The ears are small, flat, they are standardly set in line with the eyes.
The body is elongated, the chest is strong, the legs are straight and strong. The tail is rather thick, the dog carries it almost horizontally, slightly raising the tip. Some breeders stop it at half or a third of the length.
The hair of the representatives of the breed is hard and plentiful. It perfectly protects the dog from cold in winter and heat in summer.
The preferred color is gray steel with brown spots. Brown-roan, brown-white shades are also found.
The plans of the French military department include the purchase of a large number of armored vehicles VBMR Griffon (Véhicule Blindé Multi-Rôles). In April 2017, the first contract for the supply of such equipment was signed. In accordance with it, in the coming years, industry was to build and transfer to the army 319 "Griffins". The development and construction of machines is carried out by the Groupement Momentané d’Entreprises (GME) group of companies consisting of Nexter, Arquus and Thales.
In the twenties of June 2019, it was announced the completion of factory tests of the first production armored car VBMR. In the near future, a solemn ceremony of handing over the car to the troops was planned. In parallel, GME enterprises continue to assemble new machines and test already built ones.
The transfer of the army car took place on July 4 at the GME site in Satori. The event was attended by a delegation of the military department led by Minister of Defense Florence Parley. The first serial “Griffin” received its license plate and officially entered the service.
Also at the ceremony, statements were made about the important role of the VBMR project in the rearmament of the French army, about the advantages of such equipment, etc. In addition, it was announced the expansion of existing plans regarding the number of purchased equipment. The order will be increased and the construction schedule changed.
Plans and supplies
Until recently, the French Ministry of Defense, as part of the SCORPION program, planned to purchase 1722 VBMR armored vehicles and certain quantities of unified equipment of other types. The construction of such machines has already started. The first armored car was handed over to the customer, and the last will be delivered in 2030.
During a recent ceremony, F. Parley revealed plans to increase the series of "Griffins" by 150 units. Thus, the total number of such equipment will increase to 1872. The production schedule is also being revised in the direction of accelerating work. Now half of the series (936 cars) will be completed by 2025. Plans for other SCORPION samples are not yet being revised.
To carry out such plans, the GME group needs to produce at least one and a half hundred armored cars a year. However, while the pace of construction will be more modest. For 2019, the delivery of 92 production vehicles is planned, and only the next will begin reaching the planned pace. The annual supply of 140-160 cars will ensure the implementation of current plans - 936 units by the mid-twenties.
The second half of the Griffon VBMR general plans will be implemented in the second half of the twenties. To implement such plans, it may be necessary to increase production rates to 180-190 units per year. Otherwise, the construction of 1872 armored vehicles may go beyond the established framework and continue in the thirties. Of course, if the army does not decide to reduce the order or increase the timeframe for its implementation.
It should be noted that the GME group has to fulfill two orders simultaneously. In 2017, a contract was signed for the supply of 417 Griffin armored cars of the Belgian army. Thus, the contractor is faced with a rather difficult task of simultaneously producing large quantities of equipment for two customers.
Role in the troops
From the very beginning, the VBMR Griffon was considered a modern replacement for the obsolete VAB armored personnel carriers. The troops have several thousand such vehicles - both in the configuration of protected vehicles, and in the form of weapons or special equipment. BTR VAB for a long time do not meet current requirements, which is why they need to be replaced.
This year's deliveries will allow the rearmament of several large units of the ground forces and marine corps to begin. According to French media, this will be the 1st Infantry Regiment, the 13th Battalion of Alpine Rangers, as well as the 3rd and 21st Marine Regiments. The number of armored cars planned for transfer to one or another unit has not yet been specified.
With the continuation of mass production, next year and until the end of the decade, almost all other units and formations that currently operate obsolete armored personnel carriers will switch to new equipment. Those parts that will not get the Griffin armored cars will use promising VBMR-L Serval vehicles for a similar purpose.
As a result of the SCORPION program, the infantry units of the French army will completely switch to new models of armored vehicles that meet current requirements and threats.
One of the main tasks of the SCORPION program and the VBMR Griffon project is to increase the level of crew protection in the typical conditions of a modern armed conflict. In addition, it is planned to increase combat readiness by including the unit and its transport in the general communications and command and control system. Armored cars of new projects are often called the most developed from the point of view of electronics French products.
Cost requirements were also imposed on the VBMR project - the price of a serial armored car should not exceed 1 million euros. The GME group solved this problem by maximizing the use of finished units. So, the armored car is built on a redesigned three-axle chassis of a Renault serial truck. Most of the other equipment is also serial production.
On the wheeled chassis, an armored hull of the hood assembly with ballistic and mine protection is mounted. The level of protection remains unknown. A crew of two people and eight paratroopers are located in a common inhabited compartment. Fast landing and landing in any conditions is provided. There is a set of bulletproof glass giving a good overview of the area. The armored car is equipped with modern means of communication and control, which will simplify the interaction of troops in different conditions.
In the configuration of the transport armored car, the Griffin is equipped with a remotely controlled combat module with a normal or large caliber machine gun. It also offers the use of modules with anti-tank missiles or special equipment.
The combat weight of the armored car is 24.5 tons. A diesel engine rated at 400 hp. allows it to accelerate to 110 km / h, range - 800 km. On the cross-country VBMR is not inferior to the replaced armored vehicles.
The SCORPION program as a whole and the VBMR Griffon armored vehicles have high expectations. With their help, over the next decade, France plans to radically modernize the fleet of ground forces and marines. Such re-equipment should ensure the full compliance of infantry units with modern requirements. As a result, technology will affect the combat effectiveness of the army.
Apparently, we are really talking about a successful example of a multi-purpose combat armored vehicle. Foreign countries have already become interested in the French “Griffin”, and one of them even placed a real order. The construction of more than two thousand armored cars Griffon and Serval, apart from promising equipment of other types, will be a very difficult task. However, the GME group of companies must make every effort for its successful solution. Then the two armies will receive the desired modern equipment, and the industry will receive honestly earned money.
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