During an interview with Le Parisien French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu said France would hand over to Ukraine “a significant number” of French-made armored personnel carriers and auxiliary vehicles considers the possibility of strengthening the Armed Forces with anti-ship missiles Exocet. Exocet is a separate topic and we will definitely write about them, now let’s look at the French VAB armored personnel carriers.

Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé (VAB), or, to put it literally, “armored vehicle of the front line” is the main armored personnel carrier of the French army. Adopted in 1976, modernized several times, it is now gradually being replaced by more modern machines VBMR Griffon and VBMR-L Serval. But now the French army consists of almost 3,900 such armored personnel carriers in 35 different modifications, i.e. the words about a “significant number” are not an exaggeration, there are really many such vehicles.

VAB: French armed personnel carrier for the Armed Forces

VAB was created by Renault Trucks Defense specialists as a vehicle that will complement the French crawler BMX AMX-10P.

This vehicle exists in many variants, both in the formula 4×4 and 6×6. Transport, evacuation, medical, for combat in the city, with ATGM, with mortars, ZAK, radars, EW equipment, engineering, police, and many others.

The armored personnel carrier was upgraded several times. The gearbox and engine were replaced, and the armor was strengthened several times. The latest version, the VAB MkIII, which was introduced in 2013, received mine protection and armor STANAG Level 4. This version is only in the 6×6 formula and comes with Renault MD7 (340 hp) or Caterpillar C7 engines (370 hp). c.) and automatic transmission.

VAB was involved in all conflicts involving French infantry – Kuwait, Ivory Coast, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and so on. Good, battle-tested car. The Armed Forces will find where to use them.

VAB: French armed personnel carrier for the Armed Forces

Specifications (base version VAB)
Weight – 13.8 tons
Length – 5.98 m
Width – 2.49 m
Height – 2.06 m
Wheel formula – 4×4 or 6×6
Crew – 2
Landing – 10
Armor – steel armor provides protection against bullets caliber 7.62 mm; upgrade with MEXAS composite armor and mine protection
Armament – 7.62 mm AA52 machine gun or 12.7 mm M2 machine gun
Engine – Renault MIDR 062045
Power – 235 kW (320 hp)
Road clearance – 0.4 m
Operating range – 1200 km
Max speed – 110 km/h (highway), 8 km / h (water)