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Infantry fighting vehicle


The VBCI infantry fighting vehicle is fully compatible with emerging digitalized battlefield

Entered service 2008
Crew 2 men
Personnel 9 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 25.6 t
Length 7.6 m
Width 2.98 m
Height 3 m
Main gun 25-mm cannon
Machine guns 1 x 7.62-mm
Ammunition load
Main gun 409 rounds
Machine guns ?
Engine Renault diesel
Engine power 550 hp
Maximum road speed 100 km/h
Range 750 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.7 m
Trench 2 m
Fording 1.2 m
Fording (with preparation) 1.5 m


   The VBCI VCI (Vehicule Blinde de Combat d'Infanterie) is a French wheeled infantry fighting vehicle. The first prototype was completed in 2004. It is a successor to the ageing AMX-10P IFV. The VBCI shares much in common with the Vextra and X8A prototype IFVs, developed by GIAT Industries and Renault in the early 1990s. A total of 630 VBCI infantry fighting vehicles were ordered by the French Army. Deliveries commenced in 2008. The VBCI saw active service in 2010 in Lebanon and Afghanistan. In 2013 French Army deployed these IFVs in Mali.

   The VBCI has a welded steel and aluminum armor hull with add-on modular armor protection. Protection level that can be adapted to the threat. It seems that basic armor provides all-round protection against 14.5-mm armor-piercing rounds. Titanium armor plates can be fitted for increased protection. Interior of the VBCI is fitted with spall liners. Vehicle keeps on moving if a wheel is lost by mine explosion. NBC protection and fire suppression systems are fitted as standard.

   The VBCI infantry fighting vehicle is fitted with DRAGAR one-man turret. Vehicle is armed with a fully-stabilized, dual fed 25-mm cannon and coaxial 7.62-mm machine gun. The cannon is compatible with standard NATO ammunition. It fires single round, three round burst, ten rounds burst or in fully automatic mode. Its APFSDS rounds penetrate 85 mm of armor at 1 000 m range. This cannon can also engage low-flying helicopters. The VBCI VCI is fitted with Galix grenade launching system and infrared decoy system.

   This infantry fighting vehicle is fully compatible with emerging digitalized battlefield. The VBCI is fitted with combat identification system and has secure data and voice communications.

   Vehicle has a crew of two and can carry nine troops. Commander dismounts with the troops. Troops leave the vehicle through the rear power-operated ramp with integral door.

   The VBCI is powered by Renault (Volvo D12) turbocharged diesel engine, developing 550 horsepower. This armored vehicle can switch its configuration from 8x8 to 8x6, while moving on hard surface roads. Vehicle is fitted with hydropneumatic suspension and has variable tyre pressure system. It is capable of negotiating various terrain obstacles at high speeds. However it has inferior cross-country performance comparing with tracked vehicles. This IFV is not amphibious. The VBCI can be airlifted by the Airbus A400M.




   VCI infantry fighting vehicle (described in this article);

   VPC command vehicle, armed with remotely controlled 12.7-mm machine gun. French Army ordered 150 of these vehicles. The VBCI VCP is designed to provide command and control over forward deployed armored forces and infantry. This version has a crew of seven;

   Atom infantry fighting vehicle. It was jointly developed by Renault Trucks Defense of France and Uralvagonzavod of Russia. The Atom uses 8x8 wheeled chassis of the VBCI and is fitted with a Russian 57-mm turret. This IFV was proposed for the Russian Army and export customers;

   VBCI 2 is an improved version of the original VBCI. It was first publicly revealed in 2015 and is aimed mainly at export customers. The VBCI Mk.2 is much heavier and weights 32 000 kg. It is powered by a new Volvo D13 diesel engine, developing 600 hp. Interior is fitted with new blast resistant seats.


Video of the VBCI infantry fighting vehicle






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