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French Army receives its 400th VBCI


French Army's VBCI. A Nexter photo.

PARIS (BNS): The Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) has taken delivery of the 400th VBCI armoured infantry fighting vehicle for the French Army.

Produced by the consortium formed by Nexter Systems and Renault Trucks Defense, the VBCI was ordered by DGA in 630 units.

The VBCI is used successfully by the French army in Afghanistan, where it has confirmed its full operational capability in real combat, especially its high mobility, its firepower and high accuracy, its excellent level of protection and its scalability which can constantly adapt to the threat, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

The first VBCI left the factory in 2008, and the final vehicle will be delivered by DGA to the French Army in 2015.

The VBCI is assembled at Nexter's industrial facility in Roanne (Loire district), at a rate of 100 vehicles per year.

The VBCI is an armoured, all-terrain, 8-wheel drive developed in a command post version (VPC) and an infantry combat version (VCI).

The VCI version, of which 520 have been ordered, comes with a 25 mm turret and can carry 11 soldiers. Weighing about 30 tonnes fully loaded, the VBCI can reach a top speed of 100 km/h. It is air-transportable in the A400M transport aircraft.

The VBCI offers a high level of protection, including an NBC filtration system. It is equipped with armour protection that is resistant to medium-caliber fire and to shrapnel. It also offers a high level of protection against mines and improvised explosive devices.

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