Army of Benin receives VAB armored vehicles from France

The Beninese Armed Forces (FAB, Forces Armées Béninoises) have received Arquus VAB (Véhicules de l’Avant Blindé) armored vehicles equipped with support weapons and night vision means, reports. This is a first batch of 8 VABs out of a forecast of 15 offered by France.
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VABs offered by France to Benin (Picture source:

“The 8 VAB 4x4 armored vehicles made available to the Beninese armed forces were used a short time ago in French units. If we decide to separate from it for the benefit of Benin, it is because we pursue the same objective: to bring the firmest resistance to totalitarianism which is expressed on the northern borders of Benin by jihadism. This violent extremism hits the population hard,” said Marc Vizy, French Ambassador to Benin, on Friday, January 20, 2023, during the symbolic handover of the keys to the VABs to the Beninese army.

For Brigadier General Fructueux Gbaguidi, Chief of General Staff of the Beninese army, "Benin remains sensitive" to the efforts of France alongside it in the fight against terrorism".

Beninese soldiers have been trained in the maintenance and use of these vehicles, the Beninese government said in a statement. “France, by this gesture which follows a donation of pick-up vehicles a few weeks earlier, comes to testify once again the quality of its relations with Benin today at war against terrorist groups.”

It is believed that France will supply older vehicles like the VAB to the militaries of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and others. It has also provided VABs to Ukraine.

The Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé or VAB (literally meaning "Armored Forward Vehicle"; but more appropriately translated: "Armoured Vanguard Vehicle") is an armored personnel carrier and support vehicle designed and manufactured by Arquus. It entered service in 1976 and around 5,000 were produced. It has seen combat in various conflicts in Africa, Asia as well as Europe and has also been exported to more than 15 countries.

A polyvalent military vehicle, the VAB has more than thirty variants and sub-variants. Beyond their common primary role of transporting personnel and equipment in combat zones, some VAB are tailored for mechanized infantry combat, some fulfill the role of anti-tank missile launchers, some of the self-propelled mortars, some are optimized for electronic warfare, others act as reconnaissance or artillery observation vehicles, etc.

Defense News March 2023