|Manufacturer:||ACMAT - Ateliers de Construction Mecanique de l'Atlantique|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
Based on their experience in the design, development and production of over 11,000 4 × 4 and 6 × 6 military vehicles, some years ago ACMAT designed and built an armoured personnel carrier variant called the TPK 420 BL. This has been purchased by a number of export customers and is offered in 4 × 4 and 6 × 6 configurations.
Further development of the ACMAT TPK 420 BL has resulted in the VLRB armoured liaison and reconnaissance vehicle that has the company designation of Type TCM 4.20 BL6. The designation VLRB stands for Vehicule de Liaison et de Reconnaissance Blindé.
In addition to being marketed as a stand-alone vehicle, the VLRB is also being marketed by other contractors to meet different operational requirements and details of these are given under Variants. As of mid-2006, development of the ACMAT VLRB was considered to be complete but it had yet to enter quantity production.
The hull of the Type TCM 4.20 BL6 is made of all-welded nickel chrome molybdenum steel which provides protection against 7.62 mm NATO ball ammunition at 30 m (Level 1) through a full 360º.
Additional composite material can be easily fitted to provide protection against 7.62 mm armour-piercing (Dragunov) and 155 mm artillery splinters to Level 2 standard. The all-welded body is attached to the standard ACMAT chassis.
All of the windows are of 80 mm thick armoured glass and provide protection against 7.62 mm armour-piercing attack and splinters. The steel around the windscreen is thick in order to provide protection against 7.62 mm armour-piercing and artillery splinters without over armour.
The hull of the VLRB has a total internal volume of 6.5 m3.
According to the manufacturer, mine protection continues to be a high priority for ACMAT and the vehicle features a C-shaped hull with 8 mm armour giving a high degree of protection. Options also exist for increased protection dependent on the customer requirements.
The interior of the vehicle is provided with fireproofed trimming Class M1. All of the seats are armoured and provided with an armrest and three point integrated safety belts. The steering column is adjustable in height and depth.
The vehicle has a similar layout to the basic unarmoured ACMAT vehicle with the engine at the front. Behind this are seats for the driver and commander. The driver is provided with an adjustable steering wheel.
Each of these is provided with a bulletproof window to their front and a forward opening side door with a bulletproof window in the upper part.
A further two crew members are seated to the rear facing the front, one on either side, and each of these has a forward opening side door with a smaller bullet proof window in the upper part.
Stowage and communications equipment can be carried in the rear, and at the very rear of the hull is an access door with a rectangular bullet proof window in the upper part.
The number of roof hatches/openings depends on the mission of the vehicle but is typically three. A circular hatch is provided above the commander's position with a large circular opening in the centre of the roof on which the weapon station and/or sensor pod is mounted. In addition, there is a further circular roof hatch at the rear.
Armament can be a turret or remote control weapon station, which is typically armed with a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun.
Standard equipment includes powered steering, central tyre inflation system, anti-lock braking system, self-sealing 200 litre fuel tank, regulated air conditioner/heater and an NBC pack with filter to STANAG 4447 is offered as an option.
A front-mounted power operated winch is available, as are external stowage boxes either side of the hull at the rear. On board equipment such as tools, tow bars and communications depends on customer requirements.
This has been developed by ACMAT, Giat Industries and Thales Optronique and details are given in a separate section. As of mid-2006 this remained at the prototype stage.
ACMAT has also proposed that the VLRB could be expanded to a complete family of vehicles including a troop carrier (crew of two and eight fully equipped troops), load carrier and weapons carrier armed with 81 mm mortar or various types of anti-tank guided weapon.
ACMAT has also drawn up plans for a stretched 6 × 6 version, which would have an increased payload and be able to undertake a wider range of battlefield missions.