Production of the Arquus (previously Renault Truck Defense) Vehicule de l’Avant Blinde (VAB) Mk 3 6x6 is now underway, and additional variants have been developed to meet potential export customers’ requirements.
The latest VAB Mk 3 6x6 model is being described as a reconnaissance and combat vehicle and is fitted with a retractable mast-mounted sensor pod that includes day/thermal cameras and a laser rangefinder.
Mounted at the front right is the Arquus Lite remote weapon station (RWS) armed with a 7.62 mm machine gun (MG) that the company developed for some versions of the French Army’s Griffon armoured personnel carrier (APC) now entering production.
This VAB Mk 3 model is not amphibious and can be supplied with twin doors or a power-operated ramp at the rear, and has a crew of five including the commander and driver.
It is currently being marketed with a 340 hp or 370 hp diesel engine coupled to an automatic transmission and with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 20 tonnes, although the weight can fluctuate depending on the weapon fit and armour package. Standard equipment includes a central tyre inflation system (CTIS), run-flat tyres, climate control, 300 Amp alternator, and Battlenet Select.
The VAB Mk 3 6x6 was originally developed as a private venture and a follow-on to the original VAB, which was developed for the French Army. The French received almost 4,000 4x4 versions, and additional vehicles were built for export in 6x6 and 4x4 configurations.
The United States’ Mack Defense (part of the Volvo Group that also owns Renault Trucks) won the first export contract for the VAB Mk 3 6x6, which they call the Lakota, and this has US sub-systems including a Caterpillar diesel engine and Allison automatic transmission.
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