Thursday, 6 December 2012

VAB Mk3: last line right before the show.

The first prototype of VAB Mk3, which has already traveled about 2000 km, just started endurance tests which lead to a rapid production, next year. A first batch of ten vehicles should be made in 2013 on the site of Renault Trucks Defense Fourchambault in the center of France.

Despite a high similarity of form, the Mk3 shares only 20% of elements with the previous generation of GVA. It has of course two additional wheels that make it a 6 × 6 and offers a maximum weight of about 20 tons (13 tonnes against the Mk1 and 15.8 tonnes for VAB Ultima). The recovery side of the vehicle, the extension of the body and its enhancement are passing the internal volume of 9.5 to 13.3 m3 compared to the VAB Mk2 without the overall width of the vehicle is changed. In terms of differences with the previous generation of VAB, we note the installation of a ramp rear (which will probably be optional on standard models) and the presence of boxes on both sides of the ramp , which may for example receive the group of air conditioning.

RTD already preparing a large family vehicle with the classic first version of APC with teleoperated arms in the manner of VAB Top. Other possibilities, the command post, the VAB ambulance stretchers and four medical personnel as a carrier with a mortar tube 120mm in cash or a VAB Mk3 "light ICV" welcoming a crew of three and a group seven infantry combat, with a medium caliber turret for which there is a partnership with the Belgian CMI.

RTD announced today that completely replaced by the VAB Mk2 Mk3 trading in its portfolio, with a production capacity of one hundred vehicles per year. Mounting a production line abroad is not excluded, provided that the volume of export control justifies ... RTD is essentially the replacement market for M-113 and other BTR and VAB most old. Unsurprisingly, the largest markets will be at the Middle East and Asia, but also in some European countries where budgetary constraints militate even more in the future in favor of proven technical solutions. According to Renault, the VAB Mk3 6 × 6 costs about two times less than 8 × 8 vehicle while providing 80% of its capacity.

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