Four M3 VDAA in travelling configuration.
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The VDAA system is a French system that converts armored personnel carriers into a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. VDAA stands for "Véhicule de Défense Anti-Aérienne", French for "air defense vehicle". In an updated form this system led to the development of the Sinai self-propelled anti-aircraft gun in use with Egypt.
Most VDAA systems are based on a modified M3 armored personnel carrier. Four outriggers are fitted to the vehicle to provide a stable firing platform. The larger VAB chassis was also used as a firing platform.
The standard TA-20 turret of the VDAA system is fitted with two 20mm Oerlikon autocannon. The cyclic rate of fire is either 200 or 1.000 rounds per minute per barrel. An AAT-52 or AAT-NF1 machine gun is coaxially mounted and used for self-defense. There also is a TA-23 turret variant which uses two 23mm ZU-23 autocannon instead.
A RA-20 search and tracking radar can be installed at the rear of the VDAA turret. It is usually present in one out of three systems, although up to four vehicles can be supported by a single radar equipped vehicle. An optical sight is used for targeting and target range and speed are fed automatically into the targeting computer. Optional equipment includes an IFF system, laser range finder and TV tracking system.
The level of protection depends on which chassis the VDAA system is installed. Most APC's provide protection against small arms fire and shell splinters. The VDAA system is operated under full armor protection.
The level of mobility depends on which chassis the VDAA system is installed. The weight of the system is limited and does not limit mobility. When fitted on the M3 chassis it can still travel up to 90 km/h on roads.
Although developed in France the VDAA was never adopted by French forces. It has been exported to several nations with close ties to France and remains in operational use.
The M3 VDAA is the most common application of the VDAA system. The VDAA turret is mounted in the center of the French M3 armored personnel carrier. Four jacks are fitted to provide a stable firing platform. Usually one in two or three vehicles is fitted with a RA-20S search radar on top of the VDAA turret.
The VAB 4x4 and 6x6 can also be used to mount the VDAA system. Due to the stiffness of the chassis no outriggers are needed. Usually one in two or three vehicles is fitted with a RA-20S search radar on top of the VDAA turret.
Most of the VDAA systems were produced on the chassis of the Panhard M3 4x4 armored personnel carrier.
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