France has delivered nine Panhard ERC-90 Sagaie, a 6×6 armored vehicle armed with a 90 mm cannon to the Chadian Ground Forces (Armée de terre tchadienne) during an official ceremony that was held in the capital N’Djamena, on January 23, 2021. The official ceremony was attended by the French ambassador in Chad and military authorities of the Chadian armed forces. The Chadian Ground Forces already has four ERC-90 Lynx that were delivered in 1987. Chadian Ground Forces uses many wheeled armored vehicles delivered by France including AML-60, AML-90, Bastion, VAB and Black Scorpion APC.
The Panhard ERC (Engin à Roues, Canon) is a French six-wheeled armoured car which is highly mobile and amphibious with an option of being NBC-proof. While various models were tested, only two versions of the ERC entered production in large numbers: the ERC-90 Lynx and the ERC-90 Sagaie. The main difference between the two versions is the type of turret and 90 mm gun fitted. Sagaie is French for assegai, a type of African spear. The ERC was originally a private venture aimed at the export market. It was developed by Panhard in the latter half of the 1970s as a heavier, six-wheeled successor to Panhard’s highly successful AML range of armoured vehicles.
The ERC and VCR are a family of six wheel armoured reconnaissance vehicles, the ERC being the cannon-armed turret model and the VCR being the armoured personnel carrier version. ERC is the French abbreviation of term Engin à Roues, Canon or Gun-armed Wheeled Vehicle. The ERC shares many components of the VCR vehicles. Two main versions of the ERC were developed: first the ERC F1 90 Lynx, then the ERC F4 90 Sagaie. The Lynx appeared about 1977 and the Sagaie followed approximately two years later in 1979. The Lynx was developed primarily as an armoured reconnaissance vehicle. The Sagaie was also an armoured reconnaissance vehicle, with the added secondary role of tank-destroyer.
The Lynx version lacked the penetration to defeat the more modern MBTs. Panhard designed a turret which mounted the long barrel F4 90mm smooth bore-cannon developed by GIAT, and designated the vehicle the ERC 90 F4 Sagaie. The F4 90mm could fire APFSDS (Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot) rounds at a much higher velocity than the Lynx’s F1 90mm; GIAT and Panhard both claimed it could penetrate heavy armour at 2000 metres. Ivory Coast was the first export customer, ordering five Sagaies to replace its aging AMX-13s in the light armour role. The Sagaie has proved very useful for the French Army in its African bases and even in urban conditions during the Siege of Sarajevo.