VBCI: France’s Wheeled APC



DGA certifies the new 32t variant that grew out of combat lessons learned.

Oct 2/14: VBCI-32 qualified. The DGA certifies the new 32t base weight VBCI. It was originally developed for export out of lessons learned in Libya, Mali, etc., but may also become a template for French upgrades. Qualification of the new vehicle follows testing in sandy Biscarosse, muddy Coetquidan and Fontevraud, rocky Canjuers, and snowy Valloire.

There doesn’t seem to be a formal designation yet, but the new design allows removal of the vehicle’s engine in the field by specialist vehicles, improves the suspension and transmission, upgrades cooling and engine performance, and adds 4th-axle steering. The net effect is to maintain power and maneuverability, while allowing for more added protection and systems over time. Minor changes include a repositioned fuel tank, and small hull reconfigurations to increase the vehicle’s internal volume. They’re hoping that Britain in particular (q.v. June 25/14) takes notice. Sources: French DGA, “La DGA qualifie la version 32 tonnes du VBCI”.

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VBCI(click to view full) Many European countries are abandoning tracked APCs entirely, for good or ill, and France is joining that trend by replacing its existing tracked AMX-10Ps with the 8×8 wheeled Vehicule Blinde de Combat d’Infanterie (Armored Infantry Combat Vehicle). This article looks at the VBCI platform, discusses the program and export opportunities, and […]

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