At the start of October, Panhard delivered the twenty VBL Mk2 vehicles ordered by the Kuwaiti Ministry of the Interior last year. These vehicles are configured to carry out anti-terrorist operations in urban areas. The Mk2 version of the VBL benefits from many improvements in relation to previous models: the vehicle is significantly more powerful thanks to a 125 h.p. Steyr engine, whilst its all-terrain mobility has also been enhanced by a 4-speed ZF automatic gearbox and larger tyres. Centralised tyre inflation also helps to improve the VBL’s mobility over loose terrain, especially sand. The electrical system in the new generation vehicle offers new features such as an onboard diagnostic system.
Furthermore, the VBL Mk2, which retains its amphibious capability, is NRBC protected. These VBLs are fitted with equipment designed for police vehicles, including a loud speaker system that allows the occupants to address individuals or crowds while remaining protected by the armouring.
The VBL, which will be used for patrol and surveillance missions, will be equipped with impressive firepower thanks to a remote-controlled cupola capable of operating a 12.7 mm machine gun. This weapon, useable in all conditions and especially at night, will reinforce the VBL’s defensive capabilities. It is worth noting that the Ministry of the Interior is the second Emirates customer to place its trust in Panhard, because the National Guard is already using the VBL. Panhard, which is an historic supplier of armoured vehicles to the Gulf states, has already supplied VBLs to the Sultanate of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.