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DIMDEX 2024: VAB-Q upgrade set to continue in Qatar

An Arquus-upgraded VAB on display at the Milipol Qatar show held in Doha in May 2022. (Arquus)

French armoured vehicle company Arquus announced during the DIMDEX 2024 show held in Doha from 4 to 6 March that it had secured an additional contract to upgrade more of the Qatar Emiri Land Forces' (QELF's) Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé (VAB) armoured personnel carriers (APCs).

It said that the contract covers 54 VABs in addition to the 126 it has already modernised in France since 2018. An Arquus representative told Janes that a letter of intent was signed during the show, not a contract, and that the work will be carried out in Qatar using parts shipped from France.

An earlier Arquus press release included photographs of French Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu at the VAB assembly line that has been set up at a Qatari military base during a visit in July 2023.

One of the modernised 6×6 APCs was displayed at DIMDEX as a VAB-Q. A video said it has been fitted with a new intercom system, an encrypted radio, a close-range surveillance system, a driver low-light vision system, and a remotely operated weapon station that gives it a shoot-on-the move capability.

The optical systems installed on the front and rear of the VAB-Q were labelled as Aselsan's Tank Driver Vision System (TSGS), which has both a thermal and a CCD (charge-coupled device) camera. The six additional cameras arranged around the vehicle appeared to be Aselsan's Yamgöz-200 close-range surveillance system. Both the driver and commander positions had Aselsan screens to view the imagery from the cameras.

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