France to Provide Hundreds of VAB Armored Vehicles to Ukraine in 2025

by Roman Cheplyk
Tuesday, April 2, 2024
France to Provide Hundreds of VAB Armored Vehicles to Ukraine in 2025

France is set to bolster Ukraine’s military capabilities by transferring hundreds of VAB armored personnel carriers at the beginning of 2025, as part of a new military aid package

French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu made the announcement, indicating that the exact number of combat vehicles to be transferred has not been specified.

The VAB (Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé), a wheeled armored personnel carrier, has been in service with the Ukrainian Armed Forces since the summer of 2022, primarily during counteroffensive operations in the Kherson and Kharkiv regions. The versions currently in use by Ukraine are older models of the VAB, with the total number in service undisclosed.

Key Features of the VAB:

  • Designation: The VAB is designed as an armored front-line vehicle, first adopted by the French army in the late 1970s to support the AMX-10P infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).
  • Variants: It has undergone various upgrades and has many versions, including an IFV variant. The most modern version is the VAB Mk III, with around 5,000 units produced in total.
  • Specifications: Available in 4x4 and 6x6 configurations, the VAB accommodates a crew of 2 and can transport up to 10 paratroopers. It is powered by a Renault diesel engine producing 320 horsepower and 1200 Nm of torque, reaching speeds up to 110 km/h on highways and 8.5 km/h in water. Its operational range is 1000 km.
  • Armament: Standard armament includes a 7.62 mm machine gun and a 12.7 mm machine gun, with ballistic protection ranging from level I/II to level IV according to STANAG 4569 A. The IFV variant features a 25 mm automatic cannon alongside twin 7.62 mm machine guns, and there's a variant equipped with a 20mm M693 gun or a 30 mm automatic cannon for urban combat.

Role and Use:

The primary role of the VAB armored personnel carriers is to transport infantry to the battlefield safely, with the IFV variant capable of actively engaging in combat to support infantry with firepower. Certain VAB versions are specialized for reconnaissance, advanced surveillance, and fire control operations, demonstrating the vehicle's versatility in various military tasks.

This forthcoming aid from France represents a significant enhancement of Ukraine's military capabilities, providing critical support in the face of ongoing conflicts and challenges.

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