|Wheeled armoured personnel carrier
The VAB (Vehicule de I'Avant Blinde) was originally developed to meet the requirements of the French Army, which has received almost 4,000 vehicles in the 4 x 4 configuration, for protected transport of assault teams.
Renault Trucks Defense is now upgrading a major part of the French Army VAB fleet to extend its operational life by another 15 years.
Most export customers selected the 6x6 model of the VAB, which increases cross-country mobility. Renault Trucks Defense now offers an upgrade pack for the export market that includes a complete overhaul of the vehicle with options for the installation of a new diesel engine, automatic transmission, upgraded suspension and additional protection.
The standard VAB armoured personnel carrier (APC) version is normally armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun over the commander's position at the front right side of the vehicle. Some countries have a more powerful weapon station installed on the roof: for example, a turret armed with a 20mm cannon.
VAB production has totalled about 5,000 units; production is now undertaken as required. In addition to the basic APC, the VAB vehicle is used for various specialised roles such as mortar vehicle, command and control, artillery observation, air defence (gun or missile), internal security, repair and recovery, electronic warfare, ambulance, anti-tank (with various missile systems such as MILAN and HOT).
The baseline vehicle is fully amphibious: two water jets mounted one either side of the hull at the back propel the vehicle through water. Standard equipment includes powered steering.
A wide range of optional equipment is available, such as additional armour protection, air-conditioning system, a nuclear, biological and chemical defensive system, central tyre-inflation system, night-vision equipment, firing ports and associated vision devices, anti-lock braking system, new electrics and a front-mounted winch.
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