The Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé or VAB (literally meaning “Armoured Forward Vehicle”; but more appropriately translated: “Armoured Vanguard Vehicle”) is a French armoured personnel carrier and support vehicle designed and manufactured by Renault Trucks Defense (now called Arquus). It entered service in 1976 and around 5,000 were produced.

It has seen combat in various conflicts in Africa, Asia as well as Europe and has also been exported to more than 15 countries.

A polyvalent military vehicle, the VAB has more than thirty variants and sub-variants. Beyond their common primary role of transporting personnel and equipment in combat zones, some VAB are tailored for mechanized infantry combat, some fulfill the role of anti-tank missile launchers, some of self-propelled mortars, some are optimized for electronic warfare, others act as reconnaissance or artillery observation vehicles, etc.

As of 2019, it still is the standard APC of the French Army but is gradually being replaced by its successors, the VBMR Griffon (introduced in 2018) and the latter’s four-wheeled version, the VBMR-L Serval (introduced in 2022).

Saumur museum of armored vehicles

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