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Panhard CRAB

Armored scout car

Panhard CRAB

The Panhard CRAB is small but fast and well armed vehicle

Entered service ?
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 8 - 10 t
Length 5 m
Width 2.5 m
Height 1.8 m
Main gun 25-mm
Machine guns 1 x 7.62-mm
Ammunition load
Main gun ?
Machine guns ?
Engine Steyr M16 diesel
Engine power 320 hp
Maximum road speed 110 km/h
Range 800 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step ~ 0.5 m
Trench ~ 0.5 m
Fording ~ 0.9 m


   The Panhard CRAB (Combat Reconnaissance Armored Buggy) was developed as a private venture. This armored vehicle is intended to meet a French Army requirement. A new armored vehicle will replace the Panhard VBL armored scout cars. Panhard is competing against other manufacturers to meet this requirement. Deliveries of new armored scout cars to the French Army are expected to begin in 2018. The CRAB is also being proposed for export customers. It is worth mentioning that a number of countries operate thousands of ageing scout cars, produced the 1960s. So the CRAB seems as a good replacement.

   A mock-up of the CRAB was revealed in 2010 alongside the heavier 6x6 Panhard SPHINX armored reconnaissance vehicle. This new highly-mobile scout car is based on renewed light cavalry doctrine, where small, but fast and well armed armored vehicles taking an active combat role. The CRAB is intended for scouting and raiding missions.

   Baseline version of the CRAB provides all-round protection for the crew against 7.62-mm ball rounds and artillery shell splinters. Maximum level of protection is against 14.5-mm armor-piercing rounds. Addition of slat armor gives some degree of protection against rocket propelled grenades. This vehicle withstands 6 to 8 kg anti-tank mine blasts under the wheels. The CRAB is fitted with NBC protection system.

   Various weapon options are proposed. This armored scout car can be fitted with remotely controlled weapon station, armed with small- or medium-caliber gun. Lighter versions, armed with shielded 7.62-mm, 12.7-mm machine guns or 40-mm automatic grenade launcher are also available. This light armored vehicle can be also used as a weapon carrier. It can be fitted with anti-tank or short-range air defense missiles. The CRAB was revealed with a 25-mm automatic cannon and coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun.

   The Panhard CRAB has a crew of three. However all the main functions of this scout car can be implemented by the crew of two. Vehicle is equipped with a battlefield management system. It can be fitted with a mast-mounted battlefield surveillance radar or long-range observation system, however theses features are proposed as an option.

   The CRAB is powered by an Austrian Steyr M16 turbocharged diesel engine, developing 320 hp. Engine is located at the rear. It is coupled to an automatic transmission. Vehicle has a hydropneumatic suspension with adjustable ground clearance. This light armored vehicle is equipped with a central tyre inflation system and run-flat tyres. All of these features allow the CRAB to move on various terrain at high speed. Two of these scout cars can be airlifted by the C-130J Super Hercules and three by A400M military cargo aircraft.