France delivers to Ukraine VAB 4x4 APCs Armored Personnel Carrier vehicles
According to an interview of the French Ministry of Defense, Sébastien Lecornu, published by the French newspaper "Le Parisien" on June 28, 2022, France is currently busy delivering VAB 4x4 armored vehicles to Ukraine from French army stocks.
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French army VAB 4x4 APC Armored Personnel Carrier vehicle. (Picture source Army Recognition)
France has already delivered a large quantity of military equipment to Ukraine as well as 12 CAESAR, 6x6 wheeled self-propelled howitzers which are already deployed in Ukraine to fight Russian troops. France has also promised to deliver six additional CAESAR howitzers to the Ukrainian army.
“To move quickly through areas under enemy fire, the Ukrainian army needs armored vehicles. France will deliver, in significant quantities, personnel carrier armored vehicles of this type, called VAB, which is armed with a machine gun,” the French Defense Minister said.
The VAB is a wheeled armored vehicle that was developed by the French company Panhard and Saviem/Renault Group in 4x4 and 6x6 configurations between 1972 and 1973. The first VAB vehicles entered into service with the French army in 1976.
The most common model used by the French Army is the 4X4 VAB VTT (Véhicule Transport de Troupe - Armored Personnel Carrier) which has a crew of three including a commander, gunner and driver and carries 10 fully equipped infantrymen. The all-welded steel hull of the VAB provides the crew with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters. The driver sits at the front of the vehicle on the left with the commander/machine gunner to his right. The infantrymen sit on bench seats that run along either side of the hull. In each side of the hull are three windows, which can be opened to the outside and can be covered by an armored shutter.
The VAB is motorized with a Renault MIDS 06-20-45 in-line water-cooled turbocharged 6-cylinder diesel developing 220 bhp at 2,200 rpm. It can run at a maximum road speed of 92 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 1,000 km.
All the fleet of the French Army VAB is maintained in operational condition by the company ARQUUS which has also developed an upgraded version of the vehicle under the name of VAB Ultima.
The VAB Ultima is fitted with new armor and equipment offering increased protection against blasts of improvised explosive devices (IED). The manual turret has been replaced by a remote-controlled 12.7 mm weapons station allowing the operator to remain inside the vehicle, and an acoustic sniper-location system (SLATE). It is also compatible with the FELIN system (infantry with integrated links and equipment). Two versions of the VAB Ultima were supplied to the French army including an APC and engineer versions.