40 years ago, the five hundred year old 1st Infantry Regiment welcomed the first armored vanguard vehicle (Véhicule de l'avant blindé VAB) into its ranks, from the outset making it the center of operations.
The faithful servant of past operations, it is now ensuring the smooth introduction of the Scorpion Program.
It was in 1970 that Robert Galley, Minister of Defense, launched the VAB program, and that SAVIEM filed the patent for the vehicle’s architecture.
As early as 1971, an agreement was signed between SAVIEM, the contractor, designer, architect, engine and powertrain supplier and Creusot-Loire, subcontractor, for the design and manufacture of the body and the assembly of the prototypes.
Following notification of the study contract to SAVIEM and Panhard, two configurations, 4X4 and 6X6, were tested and the SAVIEM VAB 4x4 solution was adopted.
In May and July 1975 SAVIEM was given notification of a target of 4,000 vehicles. Two versions were launched - the all terrain (VTT) and the Cargo - and now over 40 versions have been produced, including a Canon armored vehicle version, SAVIEM VBC, equipped with a 90 mm turret for the Gendarmerie.
One thousand VAB were produced and exported to countries like Morocco and Cyprus, putting the original VAB at the heart of external operations.
The reasons for its success are as follows. It is an effective concept, simple and flexible, in fact a modular vehicle that can be adapted to the operational needs of the forces. Simple, the VAB was upgraded throughout its life with versions like the VAB “Valorisé”, the VAB “Ultima”, and the VAB “Génie”.
Finally the cost of ownership is reasonable: it is an armored truck, a militarized vehicle on a proven chassis that is easy to maintain.
The VAB is expected to continue on for a few more years in order to support the introduction of the Griffon, which will be significantly reduced from 2025.
VOLVO GROUP GOVERNMENTAL SALES is responsible for Defense, Security, and Emergency Service activities within the Volvo Group through the following brands: RENAULT TRUCKS Defence, ACMAT Defense, PANHARD Defense, VOLVO Defense, and MACK Defense. VOLVO GROUP GOVERNMENTAL SALES is a leading player in the field of military vehicles and wheeled security.
RENAULT TRUCKS Defence is one of three players in the short term joint venture to which the Minister of Defense gave notification of the Scorpion contract on 5 December 2014. As such it will be involved in producing the new generation of the Army’s armored Infantry and Reconnaissance vehicles, the Griffon and the Jaguar.
In this context, Renault Trucks Defence is in particular responsible for supplying the powertrains and the remote controlled turrets on the two vehicles, and for ensuring all the logistics for their sub assembly and spare parts.