Arquus presented the Mk3 version of its Véhicule Blindé Léger (VBL) 4×4 light armored reconnaissance vehicle at IDEX 2023, being held in Abu Dhabi, 20-24 February.
The VBL Mk3 is the latest and most advanced version of the Panhard VBL, which is already in service with several armies in the Gulf and around the world.
As a fully new development, the VBL Mk3 benefits from several upgrades compared with the first VBL.
Equipped with a 130hp modern, diesel engine and a new automatic gearbox, the new VBL Mk3 benefits from excellent mobility which allows speed and acceleration as well as added comfort for the pilot.
It features a new Brake Assist system and improved front and rear suspension systems, increasing the payload and improving vehicle handling.
A new Centralized Tyre Inflation System (CTIS) allows for a better adaptation to the terrain conditions and improves mobility on soft ground, such as sand. A new dashboard enables better management of the vehicle and its tactical situation.
The company VBL Mk3 is designed for scouting and reconnaissance, as well as intelligence gathering missions. It can also serve as a wingman for a tank or be configured as an anti-tank vehicle with an ATGM team aboard.
Anti-Tank Configuration for High-Intensity Missions
For IDEX 2023, the VBL Mk3 is fitted with a Hornet RCWS with an AKERON anti-tank missile launcher, developed with missile manufacturer MBDA specifically for anti-tank combat.
An anti-tank combat capability is now integrated in the Hornet RCWS, which it offers on top of its native qualities. The Akeron missile is integrated on the side of the RCWS, which preserves the compact size of the Hornet and contributes to its stealth. It is also a welcome addition for increased anti-tank capabilities to engage a target of opportunity close to the front lines or defend itself against an unplanned heavier threat such as a tank or an IFV.
With its high mobility and compact silhouette, the VBL Mk3 will be able to scout while in movement and to shoot from inside the vehicle with the Hornet AKERON or from outside the vehicle with an AKERON firing station.
Several other configurations can be derived from the VBL Mk3’s proven concept, depending on the mission at hand.
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