French army procurement agency accepted its first VHM all-terrain armoured vehicles 2411116
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Defense News - France
|Thursday, November 24, 2011, 06:45 PM|
|French army procurement agency accepted its first VHM all-terrain armoured vehicles.|
The French Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) accepted its first VHM all-terrain vehicles on the 7th of November 2011. Ordered at the end of 2009, delivery of the 53 VHMs runs until the end of 2012. The supplying companies are Swedish Hägglunds AB (part of BAE Systems) and French Panhard. In particular, Panhard is in charge of all integration of equipment specific to the French army (armaments, radios, information systems, etc.).
The VHM is a 14-tonne, 7.60 m long, tracked, armoured vehicle. Between the vehicle’s two modules, a special articulation device enables it to negotiate terrain that is inaccessible for wheeled vehicles. Consequently, it can avoid routes that may be booby-trapped with improvised explosive devices.
Provided in three versions (command post, logistic carrier and troop carrier), the VHM can carry up to 11 FELIN infantrymen and their personal and collective weapons. Depending on the version, each VHM has either a 12.7 mm support weapon or a 7.62 mm self-defence weapon. The VHMs also offer embarked crews protection against small-calibre munitions, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), mines and improvised explosive devices.
Qualified in September 2011 after 8 months of intensive trials, the VHM has been tested on all types of terrain and, in particular, ground with poor bearing capacity (e.g. snow, sand and marsh). On top of all this, the vehicle’s amphibious capabilities (river and sea) make it an extremely mobile machine.