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Album ~ COM FST Panhard VPS

Panhard Véhicule Patrouille Spéciale used by French Army Special Forces at EUROSATORY 2018 [© Bob Morrison]

The Panhard VPS (Véhicule Patrouille Spéciale or Special Patrol Vehicle) is used exclusively by French Army Special Forces (COM FST).

 

The two vehicles pictured here were participants in a dynamic display by COM FST at the 2018 EUROSATORY defence expo. Converted by Panhard, a sub-division of Renualt Trucks which has now been absorbed into ARQUUS, this highly specialist fleet (originally of 51 vehicles) was built on the 5-cylinder 2685cc 270 GDI variant of the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen. Similar in concept to both the Land Rover Defender WMIK used by UK Special Forces and G-wagens used by several NATO SF units, the VPS is usually armed with a 12.7mm heavy machine gun in a ring mount and a 7.62mm general purpose machine gun in front of the commander. It has been operationally deployed in both Afghanistan and Africa.

For main feature see COM FST ~ French Army Special Forces

Normal VPS crew is three but four operators can be carried – note self-recovery winch [© Bob Morrison]

12.7mm and 7.62mm machine guns are more visible from this angle – cameraman in commander’s seat is shooting live for the main event display screen [© Bob Morrison]

Vehicle has larger tyres and therefore a little more ground clearance than the standard G-wagen [© Bob Morrison]

The VPS is unarmoured but has underside blast protection – commander’s machine gun is the 7.62mm ANF1 [© Bob Morrison]

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