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First Four Regenerated VBL of 2024 Delivered

Library image from 2020 of a Véhicule Blindés Légers Régénérés (VBL - ULTIMA) [© Bob Morrison]

The French DGA (General Directorate of Armaments) has delivered the first four regenerated VBL light armoured vehicles of 2024.

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Press Release, Paris , 29 March 2024: [auto-translated] The General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) delivered, on 26 February 2024, the first four regenerated light armoured vehicles [Véhicules Blindés Légers Régénérés – VBL-R] out of the 102 expected in 2024. These four examples were delivered to the Army, which has already received 247 VBL-R brought to the ULTIMA standard since 2020.

This regeneration is carried out by the industrial company ARQUUS on its Saint-Nazaire site (Loire-Atlantique) and will continue until the end of 2028. Entered into service with the Army in 1990, the Véhicule Blindés Léger – VBL-R is a light vehicle for armoured cavalry platoons (AMX10RC then Jaguar). It also allows carrying out of tactical or in-depth intelligence missions. The VBL quickly demonstrated its capabilities in the field, particularly during discreet reconnaissance and infiltration military missions. This VBL regeneration operation will allow its continued service in the Army until 2035.

The ULTIMA standard significantly improves the operational performance of the LAV with a new engine which develops power increased by 50%. Driving is more safe than the previous version with the installation of ABS, power steering and a reinforcement of the suspension. Equipped with air conditioning, the VBL is predisposed to accommodate an extra protection kit, thus strengthening the resilience of the crew in operation. Electricity production is also upgraded with the installation of an alternator making it possible to meet the energy consumption of multiple recently integrated electronics equipment systems. Finally, the crew benefits from an increased payload of 300 kg.

Library image of a French Army VBL deployed on Operation LYNX in the Baltic region [© Bob Morrison]

The VBL-R will eventually be replaced by the Armoured Engagement Support Vehicle (Véhicule Blindé d’Aide à l’Engagement – VBAE), programme carried out in cooperation with Belgium and whose pre-design contract has was notified by OCCAr (Joint Organisation for Armaments Cooperation) to Arquus, KNDS and John Cockerill Defense in December 2023.

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