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Nexter inherits the legacy of more than three centuries of French military weaponry

Although the weapons-making tradition goes back much further into history, it was really during the reign of King Louis XIV that the French military weaponry industry really began to take shape after the creation of the Royal Arsenal at the Bastille in 1665. The pace of industry development began to accelerate in the mid-18th century, which saw the establishment of the St-Etienne weapons manufacturing factory in 1764.

18th century

The first production sites of Giat Industries.
· St-Etienne (1764), Tulle (1777), Toulouse (1792) and Rennes (1793)

systeme_gribeauval THE GRIBEAUVAL SYSTEM:
In 1765, Jean-Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval standardized canon design and gave his name to the very first artillery system. This system was to dominate the battlefields of the French Revolution and the First Empire.


19th century

Other production sites now came on stream to expand the industry and paved the way for the French Resurgence movement.
· Bourges (1866), Puteaux (1866) and Tarbes (1870)

Following its introduction in 1897, this canon revolutionized Field Artillery operations. In 1914, it provided the backbone of the French artillery force and made a major contribution to reversing French fortunes at the Battle of the Marne (September 6-13, 1914).


Other products of the time:
- The Chassepot and Lebel rifles

The Great War

The First World War saw the first battlefield appearance of tanks, which made their contribution to the victory.
· Roanne (1918)


By November 11, 1918, barely two years after design work began, the French weapons industry had produced more than 3,200 of the FT 17 light tank, which came to be known as the ‘victory tank’. It also introduced the concept of a family of models based on the same chassis.

Other products of the time:
- The St-Chamond tank, the GPF 155 mm canon, rail-mounted heavy artillery and Châtellerault FM machine gun


Between the wars
· Le Mans (1927), Salbris (1933) and Issy-les-Moulineaux (1936)

THE B1 bis TANK:
In 1940, the B1 bis was widely considered to be the world's most advanced, most heavily-armed and best-protected heavy tank.


 Other products of the time:
- The R 35 light tank, FM 24/29 machine gun and the MAS 36 rifle


France embarks on an Armed Forces modernization program.
· The arsenals came together within the DEFA (Direction des Etudes et Fabrications d'Armements) weapons design and manufacturing directorate.


Introduced in 1947, the AMX 13 program proved extremely successful in France and in export markets. In total, more than 7,500 were produced in many different versions, from light tanks to troop carriers and 155 mm self-propelled guns.

Other products of the time:
- The MAT 49 sub-machine gun, the MAS 49/56 rifle and AA 52 machine gun


· The DEFA changed its name to DTAT (Direction Technique des Armements Terrestres / land weapons technical directorate), and became part of the DMA (Direction Ministérielle des Armements / weapons ministerial directorate)

More than 3,000 battle tanks and derivatives, from the 155 GECT self-propelled gun to armored recovery vehicles and armored engineering vehicles, were produced for France and a number of foreign powers. The French army equipped two of its AMX 30 B2 regiments with the BRENUS explosive reactive armor.



· Formation of G.I.A.T. (Groupement Industriel des Armements Terrestres / the land weapons manufacturing group) to include all the national arsenals.


In production since 1979, the FAMAS assault rifle adopts a bullpup design (in which the action is located behind the trigger group to create a shorter weapon), which uses the more effective principle of inertial amplification in preference to gas operation. The latest G2 version is capable of firing every type of 5.56 mm round available in the market.

Other products:
- THE AMX 10 P/RC combat vehicle and GCT 155 mm self-propelled artillery vehicle

July 1, 1990

· Formation of Giat Industries SA as a private company

On January 14, 1992, the first Leclerc production tank was delivered to the French Procurement Agency, the DGA (Direction Générale pour l'Armement). As the first third-generation tank and with the capability to achieve firing accuracy on the move, the Leclerc tank is currently being delivered to the French army and the UAE. The DNG/DCL armored recovery vehicle version is also in production.


Other products:
- The Dragar and TML 105 turrets


Manurhin and Luchaire join Giat Industries.


More than 100,000 Apilas 112 mm infantry anti-tank rocket launchers have been sold worldwide.

Other products:
- The Wasp recoilless anti-tank weapon


· FN Herstal joins Giat Industries

The Minimi 5.56 mm light machine gun has been adopted by many armies, including those of the US and France.


Other products of the time:
- The P90 personal defense weapon system


· Mécanique Creusot-Loire and Cime Bocuze join Giat Industries


The VAB is a truly multipurpose front-line armored infantry vehicle, with more than 5,000 of its various versions in service with 15 different armed forces. This vehicle built an impressive reputation in operations during the Gulf War and in the former Yugoslavia..

Other products:
- The 100 mm Compact naval turret and tungsten penetrators for armor-piercing shells

December 1, 2006
· The core business of Giat Industries is spun off to create the Nexter Group, which adopts a new visual identity.

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