The VAB Mk3 is Arquus’ flagship on the 6x6 market. Already in service and combat-provenin various armies around the world, it is a modern APC/IFV that Arquus constantly upgradesto better answer the operational needs of the operators on the battlefield.
The VAB MK3 is a very agile and well protected vehicle, which can serve as an APC or anIFV depending on the mission at hand. Its very compact architecture and low silhouettemakes it a vehicle very well adapted to high-intensity conflicts against opponents equippedwith multiple reconnaissance and aggression solutions. This concept proves once again itsvalidity as modern combat vehicles tend to grow taller and bigger, which increases theirvisual signature on the battlefield.
At Eurosatory 2022, Arquus is presenting the VAB MK3 in a systems-ready configuration, with awide array of systems that are highly relevant for modern-day operations and benefit fromthe close examination of recent combat experience. These systems add up to the nativequalities of the VAB MK3, which is a very-well protected, versatile, and very mobile vehicle.
Hornet Stealth Protection
The VAB MK3 exhibited on the Arquus booth first demonstrates the Hornet Stealth Protection byHornet, which ensures the vehicle’s self-protection, as well as collaborative protection for the wholetask force.
The Hornet Stealth Protection combines a Hornet Remote-Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS), anindependent ring mounted on the Hornet and fitted with a GALIX smoke grenade launcher byLacroix, a Pilar V acoustic gunshot detector by Metravib and finally the Battlenet vehicle and systemssensors and effectors software management system, which links all sensors and equipment andprovides with combat and collaborative protection and combat capabilities.
Upon detection of a threat, the Stealth Protection System warns the operator and automaticallyorients the GALIX smoke grenade launcher to face the threat, as well as the Hornet RCWS if theoperator elects that option. The smoke grenade launch is then conducted manually or automatically,depending on the selected mode, effectively screening the vehicle from incoming targets.
As the GALIX smoke grenade launcher is fitted on an independent ring, the operator can keepfocusing on his current mission, either monitoring a sector or firing at a target, while the StealthProtection System takes charge of the protection of the vehicle from the other threats. The systemloads a total of two salvos, to be able to react to two consecutive targets incoming from identical ordifferent directions. This solution can also integrate a laser detector warning system to add furtherdetection and protection capabilities.
The VAB MK3 is also equipped with 360-degree low-light and thermal imaging cameras by BertinTechnologies that provide the crew with a full 360-degree situational awareness and the vehicle withnight driving capabilities. The cameras and corresponding screens benefit from a very low responsetime which facilitate nighttime operations. This array also integrates a thermal mode which switcheson extremely quickly, allowing for smooth transitions from one mode to another.
The VAB MK3 also integrates a wire solution for drones, provided by French company Arastelle thatenables continuous surveillance capabilities while in operations. That solution connects the drone tothe VAB MK3’s energy network, thus ensuring a constant supply of power and an air surveillance,which is a major advantage compared to the natural limits of drones, which currently only rely ontheir own battery.
This innovative solution developed by Arastelle and integrated by ARQUUS allows the drone toremain in flight for as long as desired up to an altitude of 100m, reinforcing the surveillance andobservation capacity by day and night. This solution offers higher performance than a mast, with amuch smaller footprint, while providing additional tactical options for the UAVs deployed, which arealso capable of evolving wirelessly to fulfil other missions.
This compact system, which can be integrated into all types of new or retrofitted vehicles, will provideground resources with an aerial capability and enable a micro-UAV to be deployed in 15 secondswith an automated take-off and landing procedure.
Such a system is very well adapted to the needs of infantry squads, which can use their own currentdrone without having to modify or adapt them. It is particularly relevant in the context of surveillanceof a forward operational base or a long-term reconnaissance mission.
The Arastelle solution completes the set of systems integrated on the Arquus VAB MK3, providing itwith a vision capability beyond direct sight.
All these systems are already qualified and available. On top of them, Arquus adds a solutioncurrently under development by its Advanced Innovation team, which provides with very importantgains in terms of observation and situational awareness.
At Eurosatory 2022, Arquus is presenting its virtual windows solution for armored vehicles. This solutionaims at projecting the 360° vision from the vehicle cameras, or the vision from the drone, or anyvideo feed directly inside the vehicle thanks to small projectors with very small response time.
The virtual windows help with the crew’s situational awareness, by having them being able to seewhat the surroundings look like, which prevents spatial disorientation during the long operationaldrives in changing environments, especially right before disembarking. Such a solution also enablesall crew members to actively take part in the surveillance of the battlefield, which can be of use forreconnaissance units. It also enables precise on-board briefings, with a display of tactical situationsdirectly on the vehicle’s hull. Information such as cover, general tactical situation, red and blue forcetracking are thus much clearer.
Virtual windows also enable the complete removal of windows on the vehicle, which reinforces thegeneral structure for more protection, reduces the weight and simplifies production and maintenanceoperations.
The integration of the Virtual Windows by Arquus thus allows for more protection, facilitates theproduction, maintenance and repair of vehicles, while alleviating the mental load for the operator,who can focus on his mission from inside the vehicle thanks to Battlenet.Arquus’ systems and sensor management system, Battlenet connects all the integrated systems ona plug-and-play basis, thus simplifying all operations inside the vehicle and automatizing somefunctions, such as smoke grenade launches, target tracking and aiming… It also multiplies thecapabilities of vehicles in collaborative combat: automatic information exchange, sharing of tacticalsituations, red and blue force tracking, collaborative protection and combat…
A Mature Version Adapted to High Intensity Operations
All these integration on the VAB MK3 of ever more efficient systems illustrate Arquus’ ability torespond to changing tactical challenges and provide the armies with sensible solutions which provideactual operational value on the field.
The VAB MK3 is thus presented in a configuration that is highly adapted to current conflicts. TheUkrainian crisis has reminded us of the reality of high-intensity operations, where well-protected,highly mobile vehicles are crucial, as well as their ability to identify the enemy before being detectedand react as quickly as possible to the most dangerous threats. The VAB MK3 meets these needsperfectly.
ARQUUS is a French Defense company, leader of land mobility solutions. Historical partner of the armies, Arquus has morethan 25,000 vehicles currently in service in the French Army. Arquus takes part in the VBMR GRIFFON and EBRC JAGUARprograms, which are the new generation of the French Army’s combat vehicles, in the framework of a Temporary Groupingof Companies. Arquus is notably in charge of designing and delivering the drivelines and the self-defense weapon systemsfor these two vehicles. Arquus also takes charge of all the logistics for the spare parts and organs of the VBMR and EBRCvehicles, thanks to its new logistics facility in Garchizy.
Expert of support solutions, with more than 20,000 vehicles serviceddaily, Arquus presents complete support offers, built on the company’s historical knowledge.