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Armenia Doubles Its Purchase of French Bastion Armored Personnel Carriers

Armenia Doubles Its Purchase of French Bastion Armored Personnel Carriers

Armenia has increased its order of Bastion armored personnel carriers (APCs) from France, doubling the initial procurement, as revealed in a French Senate document associated with the 2024 finance bill.

Reports indicate that twenty-four Bastion APCs have already reached Armenia, arriving through the Georgian port of Poti, as initially reported by The Armenian Report. However, the official confirmation of their delivery is pending from the authorities in Yerevan.

According to the Senate document, a total of 24 Bastion-type armored vehicles, manufactured by the French group Arquus, have been delivered to Armenia, with an additional 26 vehicles of the same type currently in production and set to join the fleet.

Armenia Doubles Its Purchase of French Bastion Armored Personnel Carriers

Notably, the French FOB (Forces Operations Blog) reported on November 30 that these Bastion vehicles were initially designated for deployment with "an army in the Sahel" but were later turned down by Ukraine.

The rejection by Ukraine was reportedly due to concerns over the vehicles' insufficient protection against artillery fire and anti-tank missiles, as reported by the Ouest France news site.

In October, a significant agreement was inked between Armenian Defense Minister Suren Papikyan and the French Thales Group in Paris. The contract entails the delivery of three GM (Grand Master) 200 radar units to Armenia. Additionally, a "letter of intent" was signed between French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and Minister Papikyan for the future provision of Mistral short-range surface-to-air missiles to Armenia.

Lecornu emphasized that these are the first Western-manufactured major weapons to be supplied to Armenia, highlighting the defensive nature of this bilateral cooperation. France has pledged not only to enhance Armenia’s air defenses but also to provide military training and aid in armed forces restructuring efforts.

The expansion of Armenia's procurement of Bastion APCs shows the deepening defense ties between Armenia and France, signaling a shift in the nation's defense strategy and fostering closer cooperation between the two countries in the realm of defense capabilities and technology.


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