In addition to the Sherpa, the Moroccan army will also be equipped with armored 6×6 VAB Mk3s, also from Arquus-Notias

Morocco will acquire the French armored vehicle VAB Mk3, as announced by the Moroccan Army through its official magazine published by the press service of the General Inspectorate of the Royal Armed Forces of Morocco. The publication does not mention the number of armored vehicles rented or the delivery date. The VAB in its updated Mk3 version is the alternative to the obsolete armored VAB vehicles that entered service in the seventies of the last century. It is also the Moroccan Army’s second agreement with Arquus after the agreement to supply 36 Sherpa Lights, possibly equipped with Mistral 3 air defense missiles.

The VAB is a passenger transport vehicle manufactured by the French company Arquus, formerly Renault Trucks Defense. The Royal Armed Forces of Morocco have around 320 VAB 6 6 ATVs that were acquired in the 1970s. During the war in the Moroccan Sahara, they took part directly in the fighting against the Polisario Front, where they showed high skills. The Moroccan Army has some derivative models based on the VAB, such as the VAB VTM with Thomson-Brandt MO-120 mortar, the VAB-PC command post and the VAB ARV.

According to Arquus, the VAB MK3 is a new family of medium-sized 6×6 armored vehicles that, at 20 tons, offer very high performance in terms of mobility, protection and transport capacity close to that of an 8×8, but at a lower cost. The VAB MK 3 benefits from 40 years of experience through the VAB legacy. The setup is maintained with the driver and boss behind a windshield that offers excellent viewing opportunities. Its compact size makes it easy to move around in urban or mountainous environments and provides optimal camouflage. It offers a variety of systems that integrate the most modern technologies and enable combat missions to be carried out in collaborative mode. From a logistical point of view, it is offered with a low acquisition cost and the advantage of worldwide access to the Volvo / Renault Trucks sales network.

With its armored hull, the VAB MK3 guarantees complete protection of personnel and missions from ballistic and explosive threats as well as in a nuclear, biological or chemical environment. In this way, it is able to carry out missions in the most hostile environments and defend itself against all kinds of threats including protection against rocket propelled grenades (RPG). It is offered with various light armament options of 7.62, 12.70 and 14.5 mm. and with remote-controlled towers of up to 30 mm, smoke grenade launchers, laser detection systems or interfering systems against improvised explosive devices or IEDs.

The VAB MK3 is offered in different versions, e.g. B. Troop transport (with 12.70 mm self-defense armament, manual or remote-controlled), command post (at battalion level with three HF radio stations). , VHF and UHF and a position for the head of the vehicle), support fire brigade with mortar (with a mortar up to 120 mm with 40 rounds), reconnaissance vehicle and support fire (with 90 mm turret) infantry combat vehicle (with various turrets of medium caliber from 20 to 30 mm, such as the TRT-25/30 from BAE Systems, the CPWS from John Cockerill or the ARX-25 from Nexter). (Mohmmed Halami, correspondent for Grupo Edefa in North Africa)

Photo: VAB Mk3 with ARX-25 turret (Arquus)

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