The Panhard ERC (Engin à Roues, Canon; “Engine with wheels, cannon”) 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.

It will gradually be replaced in French service by the EBRC Jaguar from 2021 and onwards.

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. In 1977, Panhard offered the ERC and VCR to the French Army as an armoured personnel carrier (APC) and gun-armed reconnaissance vehicle.

The Army instead chose the VAB four-wheeled armoured vehicle from Saviem for the larger APC contract, and the AMX 10 RC from GIAT for the reconnaissance requirement. Panhard also offered the vehicles to France’s Mobile Gendarmerie (a much smaller order), but the Gendarmerie chose the Saviem VBC-90. Panhard later found success for both the VRC and ERC in the world export market, and later with the ERC version with the French Army entering service in 1984.

Saumur museum of armored vehicles

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