1983 - 1985
France - Renault
A total of 34 have been produced.
- UNIT COST
Parts commonality with VAB
Limited armor protection
The VBC-90 is a Cold War era reconnaissance vehicle of French origin. Due to its heavy armament it may double as tank destroyer or fire support vehicle. It was developed in the late 1970's using the automotive components of the successful VAB armored personnel carrier. Unlike the VAB the VBC-90 was produced only in limited numbers. The name VBC-90 stands for Véhicule Blindé de Combat, which is French for armored combat vehicle. The number 90 refers to the caliber of its gun.
The VBC-90 is based on the chassis of the 6x6 variant of the VAB armored personnel carrier. Compared to the VAB the hull has a lower roofline and the engine has been moved to the rear. The driver is seated in the front hull in a sort of canopy with relatively large windows. The commander and gunner are located in the TS-90 turret that is also used on other types of armored vehicles.
The main armament consists of a 90mm full pressure rifled cannon and 7.62mm AAT-NF1 or MAG coaxial machine gun. A total of 45 rounds are carried for the cannon. The 90mm cannon can be used to engage all combat vehicles except modern tanks. Older tanks can be engaged from the sides and rear since the armor penetration is 250 mm at 1 km range. Optionally a 7.62mm AAT-NF1 or MAG machine gun or 12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun can be pintle mounted on the turret roof.
The steel hull protects the crew from small arms fire and shell splinters. A higher level of protection would reduce its mobility. This makes the VBC-90 vulnerable to autocannon, rocket launchers and all heavier armament. Two pairs of smoke grenade launchers are mounted on the turret. There is no NBC system.
The 6x6 chassis with large tires and its four wheel steering allow for a good all terrain mobility. The Renault 220 hp turbo diesel engine provides a very high maximum road speed of 92 km/h. Unlike the VAB the VBC-90 is not amphibious. The more compact hull and high center of gravity do not provide adequate buoyancy.
The main user of the VBC-90 is the French Gendarmerie which operates 28 vehicles. The 90mm cannon is very powerful considering the internal security role of these vehicles. A further 6 vehicles have been exported to Oman.
The VBC-90 is produced only in a single version. More had been planned but were never ordered. The VBC-90 is easy to recognize. The lower hull resembles the 6x6 VAB while the front hull is sloped and has large windows for the driver. The TS-90 turret is rather large for the size of the vehicle and the long smooth 90mm F1 cannon has a single baffle muzzle brake.
|Crew||3 (commander, driver, gunner)|
|Length||5.63 m (hull), 8.09 m (gun forward)|
|Weight||12.25 t empty, 13.5 t combat load|
|Wheelbase||Wheeled chassis, 6x6, 1.5 + 1.5 m wheelbases, 2.04 m track, 14.00 x20 tires|
|Engine||Renault MIDS 06.20.45 6-cylinder turbo diesel, 220 hp at 2.200 rpm|
|Power ratio||16.3 hp/t|
|Transmission||Manual, 5 forward, 1 reverse|
|Speed||92 km/h on road|
|Range||1.000 km on road|
|Gradient||50% gradient, 30% slope|
|Smoke||2x2 80mm smoke grenade dischargers|
|Remarks||6 t winch|
|Armament||90mm F1 cannon|
7.62mm AAT-NF1 coaxial machine gun
|Weapon1||90mm F1 rifled cannon in turret|
45 rounds, 20 ready to fire
-8 to +15° elevation, 1.5°/s manual, 360° traverse, 18°/s powered
|Weapon2||7.62mm AAT-NF1 coaxial machine gun|
elevation and traverse as main armament