Combat vehicles / Armored personnel carriers / M3

M3

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Armored personnel carrier

  • ORIGIN
    France

  • NICKNAMES
    -

  • DESIGNED
    Late 1960's

  • DESIGNER
    Panhard

  • PRODUCTION
    1971 - 2005

  • PRODUCERS
    France - Panhard

  • QUANTITY
    1.222 (incl Buffalo)

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Limited costs
    Good mobility on road
    Parts commonality with AML
    Average protection
    Limited firepower

Introduction

The M3 is an armored personnel carrier of French origin. It was developed in the late 1960's by Panhard and complements the succesful AML reconnaissance vehicle with an armored personnel carrier based on the same chassis. The M3 is a low cost vehicle and rather basic for Western standards.

Layout

The M3 is derived from the AML reconnaissance vehicle and the 4x4 chassis share 95% of the automotive components. This reduces costs for nations operating both types of vehicles. In the M3 the driver is seated at the front in the middle with the engine right behind him. The infantry compartment is at the rear and the infantry can access the vehicle by means of doors in both sides and the rear. On each side there are three hatches that serve as both windows and firing ports.

Firepower

Many M3's are fitted with the 7.5mm AAT-52 or 7.62mm AAT-NF1 machine guns on a pintle or rail mount or in a one man turret. Alternatively the 7.62mm MAG and 12.7mm M2HB can be fitted. Few vehicles have also been fitted with a 20mm M621 autocannon for use against ground targets. The twin 20mm VDAA anti-aircraft system has also been mounted on the M3 chassis.

Protection

The steel hull protects the crew and infantry from small arms fire and shell splinters. An NBC system is lacking and the four smoke grenade dischargers are optional.

Mobility

The M3 has a good mobility on roads and dirt roads, but lacks the cross country capabilities of a tracked vehicle. The maximum speed is 90 km/h on road and its limited fuel consumption results in a good range. The M3 is amphibious and propelled in the water by its wheels.

Users

Although a French product the M3 was never adopted by the French military. The M3 was produced for export and over 30 nations acquired it. These are mostly ex-French colonies and other nations with good ties to France.

Variants

M3

The M3 is a small armored personnel carrier based on the AML reconnaissance vehicle. The standard version is the M3/VTT, which can be armed in various ways. The most common armamen is a machine gun on a rail mount or in a small turret. Various variants are derived from the baseline vehicle:
M3/VPC: A command post vehicle which has a table and radios in the crew compartment.
M3/VTS: An unarmed ambulance version which may carry up to four stretchers in the crew compartment.
M3/VAT: A repair vehicle that carries various tools, a generator, towbars and tow cables.
M3/VLA: An engineer model with front mounted dozer blade and pioneer equipment.
M3/VDA: An air defense version fitted with a twin 20mm anti-aircraft turret. Fully described under the VDAA system.

TypeArmored personnel carrier
Crew2 + 10 (driver, gunner, 10 infantry)
Length4.45 m
Width2.4 m
Height2 m (hull top), 2.48 m (with twin 7.62mm turret)
Ground clearance0.35 m
Weight5.3 t unloaded, 6.1 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 4x4, 2.7 m wheelbase, 2.05 m track, 11.00 x 16 tires
Turn radius6.6 m
EnginePanhard 4HD V4 petrol, 90 hp at 4.700 rpm
Power ratio14.8 hp/t
TransmissionManual, 6 forward, 1 reverse
Speed90 km/h on road, 6 km/h reverse, 4 km/h in water
Fuel165 L
Range600 km on road
Wall0.3 m
Trench3.1 m
Gradient60% gradient, 30% slope
FordingAmphibious
ArmorSteel, 8 to 12 mm
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionOptional
Smoke2x2 smoke grenade dischargers
Remarks-
Armament7.5mm AAT-52 or 7.62mm AAT-NF1 machine gun (2x)
Weapon1Twin AAT-52 or AAT-NF1 in one man turret
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-
TypeArmored engineer vehicle
Crew6 (driver, commander, 4 pioneers)
Length4.75 m, 5.05 m with dozer blade lowered
Width2.45 m
Height2 m (hull top)
Ground clearance0.35 m
Weight6.2 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 4x4, 2.7 m wheelbase, 2.05 m track, 11.00 x 16 tires
Turn radius6.6 m
EnginePanhard 4HD V4 petrol, 90 hp at 4.700 rpm
Power ratio14.5 hp/t
TransmissionManual, 6 forward, 1 reverse
Speed90 km/h on road, 6 km/h reverse, 4 km/h in water
Fuel165 L
Range600 km on road
Wall0.3 m
Trench3.1 m
Gradient60% gradient, 30% slope
FordingAmphibious
ArmorSteel, 8 to 12 mm
NBC equipmentNo
Night visionOptional
Smoke2x2 smoke grenade dischargers
RemarksFitted with dozer blade
ArmamentOptional 7.62mm machine gun
Weapon17.62mm machine gun on pintle mount
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized
Weapon2-
Weapon3-
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

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