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For the mean time:     Updated Special Armor Locations:                            

AMX Leclerc Series 1 Special Armor distribution in the hull and turret (not including the spaced heavy side skirts). Once the model is complete i will use it to do some vulnerability modelling along t

French 140 mm smoothbore gun firing :      

French riot-controls vehicle VBRG is technically outdated. 

The problem is the following :

- no of the shelf platform can provide the same service ;

- the French Gendarmerie Nationale has no budget to launch a dedicated program. 


So, one possibility is to rebuild them 


Turgis et Gaillard company provide an offer at 250000€ with new engine and power train. 

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For exemple, the French Gendarmerie want to keep the high speed barricades percussion. Pushing a car or a block is easy. Percussion is very different. 




On on the other hand, VBRG are not only dedicated to face rioters such as black blocks. They are supposed to be task to infantry like tasks. 

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5 hours ago, SH_MM said:

What is it exactly that is unique to the VBRG and cannot be provided by essentially any other riot control/armored police vehicle?


Combination of both being able to resist small arms fires plus having a blade as @Serge said.

Apparently having a blade means that the engine must be on the rear (I guess because the blade take up the space) which is apparently rare on APC.


Apart from clearing barricades, they are apparently used extremely often to clear roads after natural disasters in oversea territories.

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4 hours ago, Alzoc said:


Combination of both being able to resist small arms fires plus having a blade as @Serge said.

Apparently having a blade means that the engine must be on the rear (I guess because the blade take up the space) which is apparently rare on APC.


   We have couple of those rare rear-engined APCs to spare.



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23 minutes ago, LoooSeR said:

   We have couple of those rare rear-engined APCs to spare.


Technically old VABs could be retrofitted with a blade as well, it has been proposed before.





But the design is just too old (not even talking about how washed up they are mechanically), I guess the issues would be the same with the BTR-80s (though they are more recent).

Apart from the fact that using Russian equipment in an army used to NATO compatible equipment would be pose its own problems, it's true that they could probably be acquired and refitted for cheap, didn't though about them before you pointed it out honestly ^^

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4 hours ago, Alzoc said:


Combination of both being able to resist small arms fires plus having a blade as @Serge said.

Apparently having a blade means that the engine must be on the rear (I guess because the blade take up the space) which is apparently rare on APC.

Riot controls don’t have real dozer blade. They generally have push barre. So, the front engine cooling is efficient when on the road. 

If you need a real blade and compactness, the air flow is broken while in raised position. 


This is why front engine limits the vehicle capabilities. 


4 hours ago, Alzoc said:

Apart from clearing barricades, they are apparently used extremely often to clear roads after natural disasters in oversea territories.


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On 12/15/2019 at 11:04 PM, Alzoc said:

Technically old VABs could be retrofitted with a blade as well, it has been proposed before.



Historically, the French Air Force VAB, called VIB, were riot control VAB ordered by a Middle East costumer who didn’t pay.



But the design is just too old (not even talking about how washed up they are mechanically),

One option for the French Gendarmerie Nationale is the following : having a mixed fleet of vehicles

- rebuilding the VBRG fleet with a new Iveco drivingtrain and internal armor. 

- adapting a number of VAB, given by the Army. 

I think this option will be chosen. I don’t believe they can purchase a brand new fleet of armoured vehicles. 

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An interesting photo I founded.


Replacement of the aging VBRG is critical but unfunded. So the French Gendarmerie is testing solutions such as refurbishing Army APC. 


This picture was made by August. It shows a modified VBR. 

The French Air Force’s got its own VAB : the VIB and VBR. 

VIB means Armoured Response Vehicle. VBR, Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle. 

The first one is dedicated to protection, the second takes part to UXO clearing. 

As I already explained, both VIB and VRB were riot control VAB a Middle East customer didn’t pay. 


The interesting points are :

- this VAB comes from the Air Force, not the Army. I’m not sure they can cede there fleet. I don’t know if they have a VIB replacement program. 

- the turret is not the original TC-20-13. It’s a modified VBRG TBM-103 turret. They have put smoke grenades launchers (in a very strange way). 

More basicaly, this VAB received lights. 

I don’t know if this is the prototype prepared for the upgrade of the Gendarmerie armoured vehicles fleet. 


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The last photos of the year, some of them are very rare. 


A DRAP (autonomous crowd containment asset) starting deployment to close a street. 


Fully deployed :


The truck is a TRM-2000. 

They are used by the French Gendarmerie Mobile and were designed by a WO. 


At the Eurosatory 1990 : maybe the last display of the VAB VMO. 


Here with a crowd pusher. 

This concept was never adopted (but by the French riot control police - CRS in 2000 in a lighter concept). It was tested during the 2000’s by the Army into the VAB AZUR kit. 

The SMS was the defense department of Creusot-Loire-Industrie. SMS was producing the hull of the VAB and RVI the driving line. The SMS was purchase by GIAT Industries in 1991.


An armoured P4 4x4 carrying a TLIO turret.


This is very rare to see it.

While it was never purchase, it was a very good concept in the 80’s. 

The turret showed at the Milipol 2019 by Nexter on there Serval Gendarmerie model looks like very close to the TLIO. 



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To start the new year with a good news :

The temporary company grouping EBMR delivered the 92nd GRIFFON in accordance with the commitments


December 31st, 2019 – The 24th of December, the temporary company grouping EBMR received an inspection report for the delivery of the 92nd VBMR-GRIFFON from the quality department of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA/SQ). The team consisting of Nexter, Arquus and Thales meets its objectives for 2019, in accordance with the initial purchase notified in 2017 and as defined in the military programming law. Last summer, in July 2019, the first batch of vehicles was submitted to the French army by the DGA, in attendance of the French Army minister, Florence Parly. As a result, the production of the 92 GRIFFON required less than six months: it represents a real industrial challenge that permits to respond to Land Forces’ requirements.

Since 2015, Nexter, Arquus and Thales’ parties are fully involved, in partnership with the DGA, to achieve the development, qualification and production of the GRIFFON. They work together to conceive a vehicle with a high level of protection, an ultimate ergonomy, a great mobility, an effective weapon system, and finally the last generation of communication system with new functions such as sensors, electronics and algorithms for the collaborative combat. 

Overall, the SCORPION program plans the delivery of 1 872 GRIFFON to the French army by the temporary company grouping EBMR. 936 vehicles will be presented until 2025 with all the maintenance and logistic support.


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ERAC 120 assault gun concept from 1985 :






ERAC stands for Engin de Réaction Anti-Chars à canon de 120 mm (anti-tank reactive machine with 120 mm gun), it was designed by the ETAS, a small design bureau of Angers, which, at the time doesn't relied on Computer-Aided Design.


The ERAC 120 assault gun was intended for mechanized infantry units, providing them an unmatched heavy fire support.


The planned combat weight of this assault gun was around 30 metric tons, it was to be powered by a Baudouin six-cylinder 700 hp diesel engine coupled to an automatic gearbox featuring an infinitely variable, power shunt, hydrostatic steering system. To reduce the infrared signature, the cooling system (two ring-type radiators) was located at the rear of the hull.


The running gear itself consisted of six road wheels on either side of the hull.  The five road wheels option was rejected due to the hull's pitching motion. The ERAC 120 used double-pin tracks and hydropneumatic suspensions.


The gun was a shortened version (L/44) of the Giat CN120-26 (Modèle F1) 120 mm smoothbore gun fed by a twelve-round continuous link carrier autoloader.

The autoloader could be replenished under armor by a fifteen-round open-chain magazine through a ceiling-mounted clamp. Elevation was from +15° to -6° while traverse extended to 8° on either side.

The 7.62 mm remote weapon station was reminiscent of the ATO RWS of the tropicalized Leclerc.


Regarding the armor,  it has been estimated that it reliably met the STANAG level 5 protection level.


The drawings below also show the three-man configuration (a four-man concept was also envisaged but it was taller and thus heavier) :




Credits : Marc Chassillan's article in the special edition No. 73 of Raids magazine.


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