Renault Trucks Defense (Hall 5, Stand F122) is showing for the first time at Eurosatory the latest Vehicule de l’Avant Blinde (VAB) Mk III, to meet a gap in the export market for a medium weight armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) that can be used for a wide range of battlefield missions.
This latest VAB Mk III leverages from the original VAB, of which some 5,000 were built in the 4x4 and 6x6 models, with sales made to more than 15 countries in some 30 different configurations. A total of 10 pre-production VAB Mk IIIs is being built at the Renault Trucks Defense Limoges facility, where quantity production will be undertaken at the rate of 100 units a year on a single shift basis.
Compared with the original VAB, the VAB Mk III will have more volume and payload and will only be marketed in the 6x6 configuration. It has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 20 tonnes, which includes a 4.7 tonne allowance for its crew, weapon station, ammunition and modular armour protection package.
Design of the VAB is such that it can be used for a wide range of battlefield missions, with the armoured personnel carrier (APC) typically having a crew of three (commander, gunner and driver) and carrying ten dismounts.
An amphibious version of the VAB Mk III is also being marketed with a GVW of 18.7 tonnes. This is propelled in the water by two water jets at a maximum speed of 8.5km/h.
Also being shown is a VAB Mk III demonstrator called Electer, which is fitted with a hybrid electric drive system that has been funded by the French DGA and will soon start its official trials.