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Panhard M3



Overview


Panhard M3

Left side view of Panhard M3 armored personnel carrier.
Source: Unknown author - © Copyright lies with original owner

Origin
France
Type
Armored personnel carrier
Entered service
Early 1970's
Status
In service
Development
Late 1960's
Developer
France - Panhard
Production
1971 - 2005
Producer
France - Panhard
Number produced
1.222 (including Buffalo)

Description


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.

Details


Panhard M3

M3 wheeled armored personnel carrier in Irish service.
Source: forum.irishmilitaryonline.com - © Copyright lies with original owner

Variants of the Panhard M3

M3/VTT
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.
Facts M3/VTT M3/VLA
General
Origin
France
Type
Armored personnel carrier
Crew
2 + 10 (driver, gunner, 10 infantry)
Dimensions
Weight
5.3 t unloaded
6.1 t combat load
Length
4.45 m
Width
2.4 m
Height
2 m (hull top)
2.48 m (with twin 7.62mm turret)
Main armament
Type
2x 7.5mm AAT-52 or 7.62mm AAT-NF1 machine gun
Mount
Twin machine gun in one man turret
Traverse
Manual elevation and traverse
Stabilizer
No
Chassis
Chassis type
Wheeled chassis, 4x4
Wheelbase
2.7 m
Tread
2.05 m
Tire size
11.00 x16
Steering
Front wheels
Automotive
Engine
Panhard 4HD V4 petrol
Power output
90 hp at 4.700 rpm
Transmission
Manual, 6 forward, 1 reverse
Fuel
165 L
Mobility
Speed
90 km/h on road
6 km/h in reverse
4 km/h in water
Range
600 km on road
Turn radius
6.6 m
Power to weight ratio
14.8 hp/t
Obstacle crossing
Ground clearance
0.35 m
Wall
0.3 m
Trench
3.1 m
Gradient
60 %
Slope
30 %
Fording
Amphibious
Protection
Armor type
Steel
Armor thickness
8 to 12 mm
NBC system
No
Smoke system
2x2 smoke grenade dischargers
Equipment
Night vision
Optional
Radio
Optional

Related articles


M3 VDAA

The M3 VDAA is a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun variant of the Panhard M3.

AAT-52 machine gun

Many Panhard M3 armored personnel carries are fitted with either 7.5mm AAT-52 or 7.62mm AAT-NF1 machine gun.