The VAB (Véhicule de l’avant blindé) MK 3 is a new family of 6×6 medium weight armoured vehicles offering very high level performance in terms of mobility, protection and payload. This vehicle was designed by the Euro Mobilité Division of GIAT Industries of France. It entered service in 1976; around 5,000 were produced. In 2003, Renault Trucks Défense (now Arquus) took over marketing the VAB from GIAT. The vehicle, driven from behind the windshield, provides the on-board commander and driver with excellent observation capacity. Its compact profile facilitates optimal stealth in urban and mountainous environment. A complete systems offer integrating top-level technologies and allowing the completion of all combat missions in collaborative mode. Low procurement cost and access to the Volvo / Renault Trucks maintenance network across the entire world. Performance close to an 8×8 at an economic cost.
The VAB Mk3 has a length of 7.3m, width of 2.65m, height of 2.5m and a wheel base of 1.4m. Its gross vehicle weight (GVW) is 20t and internal volume is 13m³. It is powered by a Renault six-cylinder MD7 engine, which generates a maximum power of 340hp and a maximum torque of 1,600nm at 1,300rpm. the VAB MK3 is characterized by its speed, agility on all types of terrains and its firepower. Excellent off road capacity allows the VAB MK3 to pass every kind of obstacle. It is coupled to an automatic gearbox that features six forward gears and one reverse gear. The 1400 R20 tyres fitted with Centralised dynamic inflation system and run-flat tires provide improved all-terrain mobility. Each wheel has a 6×6 driveline with independent suspensi. The optional 6×6 driveline components include run-flat tyres, directional rear axle and a winch.
Thanks to its armored hull, the VAB MK3 allows for a total protection of all operators and security for the mission against ballistic and explosive threats as well as against nuclear, bacteriological or chemical hazards. The VAB Mk3 vehicle offers ballistic protection up to level 4 of NATO (STANAG 4569) standard and mine / IED protection up to a MRAP level. It can be optionally installed with nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) equipment, as well as rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) static protection features. It is able to complete missions in the most hostile environments and react to all types of threats. The optional protection systems also include a radio-controlled improvised explosive device (RCIED) jammer, smoke grenade launcher, laser detection system, and a fire-extinguisher.
The VAB MK3 boasts excellent performance levels. Able to travel on very difficult terrains, steep gradients and mountains, including slopes up to 60% and 40% side slopes. The VAB MK3 can cross trenches of 0.9m, climb vertical obstacles of 0.5m and has a fording depth of 1.4m. The vehicle can reach a maximum road speed of 100km/h and a maximum road range of 800km at 60km/h. The VAB Mk3 armoured vehicle features modular design and monocoque hull structure. It has low lifecycle costs and is air-transportable internally by the A400M or C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft. With a modest 13-tonne mass, the VAB can pull a 4-tonne trailer.