Second batch of French VAB HOT Mephisto antitank armored vehicles delivered to Lebanon
According the Facebook account of the French embassy in Lebanon, 10 VAB HOT Mephisto armored vehicles, 96 HOT antitank missiles and 2 simulators have been unloaded this Tuesday 27 November at the port of Beirut.
Delivery of French VAB HOT Mephistos at the port of Beirut on 27 November 2018 (Picture source: Facebook page of the French embassy in Lebanon)
In May 2017, Lebanon took delivery of a first batch of secondhand VAB HOT anti-tank 4x4 armoured vehicles from France. According to the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) arms transfers database, since 2011, France has delivered 8 second-hand VAB 4x4 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC). During a meeting in France, February 8, 2018, the French Minister of Defense, Florence Parly confirmed the delivery of military equipment to the Lebanese army, as well as military training.
The VAB HOT Mephisto is a 4x4 armored personnel carrier designated VAB (Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé) fitted with an anti-tank missile launcher turret. The missile launcher system mounted on the top of the vehicle was integrated by the French company Euromissile. The latest upgraded version of the vehicle is armed with the HOT 3 missile. Four missiles are ready for fire and eight HOT missiles are carried in reserve in two four-round magazines inside the vehicle. The HOT ATGW (Anti-Tank Guided Weapon) missile has a maximum range of 4,000 meters and a minimum range of 75 meters.
All the VAB HOT Mephistos of the French Army are armed with the HOT-3 missile which has a 6.48 kg tandem HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead and can penetrate 125mm of armor. The HOT missile is tube-launched and optically tracked using the SACLOS (Semi-Automatic Command to Line Of Sight) guidance system. In SACLOS, the operator has to continually point a sighting device at the target while the missile is in flight.
96 HOT missiles have been delivered with the 10 VAB Mephistos on 27 November 2018 (Picture source: Facebook page of the French embassy in Lebanon)