The Berliet VXB-170 is a four-wheel armoured vehicle used primarily as an Internal security vehicle. Developed and initially produced by Berliet until Berliet was merged with Saviem to form Renault Trucks (now Arquus ), it lost to the Saviem VAB the competition to equip the French Army, even though it was cheaper than its competitor. Production stopped after less than 200 vehicles had been produced.
A French Gendarmerie VXB
|Type||Armoured personnel carrier|
|Place of origin||France|
|In service||1973 – present|
|Used by||France, Gabon, Senegal|
|Mass||12.7 tonnes (12.5 long tons)|
|Length||5.99 m (19 ft 8 in)|
|Width||2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)|
|Height||2.05 m (6 ft 9 in)|
|Passengers||6 to 8 troops|
|1 × 7.62 mm machine gun|
|56 mm grenade launcher|
|Engine||Berliet V800M 8-cylinder diesel engine|
170 hp (130 kW)
|750 km (470 mi)|
|Speed||85 km/h (53 mph)|
Designed in the late 1960s under a project maximizing the use of heavy truck components of the Berliet brand in combat vehicles, the VXB 170 (for 170 cv) entered production at the Berliet Bourg-en-Bresse plant.
It was selected in 1972 by the French Gendarmerie but it lost out to the Saviem VAB the competition for equipment of the French Army and, following the merger of Berliet and Saviem under the Renault brand in 1974, became redundant in the brand product offering so production was stopped soon after the Gendarmerie order was complete
There were originally three versions :
- internal security (procured by the Gendarmerie in 4 versions : basic vehicle, command vehicle, blade vehicle, and winch vehicle);
- reconnaissance and patrol;
- light combat.
The VXB was available with hydrojets but this option was never exercised.
France - 155 VXBs were procured from 1974 for the mobile units of the French Gendarmerie, of which about 70 remain in service in continental France, Corsica and the French overseas territories (as of 2018). Called "VBRG" (Véhicule Blindé à Roues de la Gendarmerie, "Gendarmerie wheeled armoured vehicle"), it is usually equipped with a 7.62 mm (cal.30) AANF1 machine gun and a 56 mm ALSETEX Cougar grenade launcher. Some vehicles feature a bulldozer blade, others have a winch. They have been deployed by the Gendarmerie in Kosovo and Ivory Coast. They have been also used in both Overseas and Metropolitan France. Gabon - 15 Senegal - 12 United Nations - for peacekeeping operations
Former civilian operators
Tunisia - 10 (for police, now retired)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-09-11. Retrieved 2018-12-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- various sources mention a project BL-12 without providing references or specific dates but this seems to be an earlier Berliet program
- ie nearly 170 hp
- Clerc, Marc. "Histoire et évolution des moyens blindés depuis la deuxième guerre mondiale". Revue de la Gendarmerie nationale (in French). No. 262. pp. 19–29.
- "Gilets jaunes. Que sont les VBRG, ces véhicules blindés de la gendarmerie déployés à Paris ?". Ouest France (in French). 8 December 2018.
- Stefan, Marx. The VAB Family of Armoured Vehicles: NG and Improved Vehicles, Upgrades. pp. 1–40.