.: Chris Cooper's 1/72nd Renault VAB 4X4

Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé

(pardon my french!)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé
French Marine VAB-cropped.jpg
A VAB unloading from a landing dock
Type Armoured personnel carrier
Place of origin France
Service history
In service 1976- present
Used by France and numerous others
Wars Gulf War

2001 invasion of Afghanistan

Production history
Designer GIAT Industries
Weight 13.8 tonnes (13.8 tonnes loaded)
Length 5.98 m
Width 2.49 m
Height 2.06 m
Crew 2
Passengers 10

Armour Protection against 7.62 mm bullets and mines.
1 × AA52 7.62 mm machine gun
Engine Renault MIDR 062045
235 kW (320 hp)[1]
Power/weight 17 W/kg (23 hp/t)
Suspension wheeled
Ground clearance 0.40 metres[2]
Fuel capacity 310 litres[2]
1,200 km[2]
Speed 90 km/h
2.2 m/s in water[2]

The Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé or VAB ("Armoured Vanguard Vehicle" in French) is an armoured personnel carrier and support vehicle designed by the Euro Mobilité Division of GIAT Industries of France. It entered service in 1976; around 5,000 were produced.[3]


The VAB was designed as a wheeled troop transporter, complementing the tracked AMX-10P. Specifications for the project called for an NBC-proof, amphibious,[4] lightly armoured vehicle to provide infantry with basic protection against shrapnel and light infantry weapons. These features were dictated by its possible usage in the event of an all-out conventional war breaking out against the Warsaw Pact; in particular, the amphibious capabilities were needed to bridge the rivers in Eastern France and in Germany.[5]

Companies Panhard and Saviem/Renault answered the requirement, and the Renault prototype was selected in May 1974,[6] with 4,000 units ordered. The first delivery occurred in 1976, and production continued at a rate of 30 to 40 units a month.[3]

A double armoured door at the rear allows access to the passenger compartment. Two inwards-looking, foldable benches provide space for 5 soldiers each. The crew enters the forwards compartment through two lateral hatches, the driver on the left, and the gunner of the right; two more hatches in the roof give access to armament and provide for emergency exit. The front windows are bullet-proof and heated, and can be further sheltered from incoming fire by armoured panels which can be either entirely shut, or leave a small slit for observation; the windows on the side and rear doors are covered by a similar system.

The engine is located behind the driver, while the right side of the vehicle is kept free, providing a passageway between the crew and passager compartments.


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