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Subject: VAB-TOP arrive in Afghanistan (finally)
FCUS    1/28/2009 6:48:30 AM
sorry, I google translated the following article, I was too busy to do it myself: At its wishes addressed to the armies, President Sarkozy had said that the protection of military personel would be a priority for the next military planning law (LPM). A list of of "emergency operations" (OU) had already been notified in spring 2008. Among the materials whose acquisition would be done as quickly as possible was the vehicle de l'avant blindé (VAB)with a remote turret(VAB TOP), which provides protection to serve the 12.7-mm machine gun mounted on the vehicle. Developed by the Norwegian Kongsberg, this system allows you to operate the MG from inside the tank, with a 360 angle, through a joystick placed in the pit. A laser and two cameras (day and night)complete the device. On 23 January 2009, the first six VAB-TOP, of the 60 that were previously ordered, were unloaded from an Antonov 124 on the Kabul airport. These vehicles are for the Operational Mentoring Liaison Team (OMLT) French assigned to 1st Brigade of the 201st corps of the Afghan National Army. Deliveries will run until April at a rate of 20 VAB-TOP per month. Another type of vehicle is also expected on the Afghan theater: the Buffalo, an armored MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) purchased to the United States and produced by Force Protection. The first two vehicules were delivered last november to the french army to be tested at the Etablissement Techniques d'Angers, in western France. The French army in Afghanistan should receive them in early 2009. In addition, the United States offered to give France a hundred types of MRAP RG-31, produced by BAE Systems, inspired by a south african vehicule. These 8tons armored 4 × 4 can carry up to ten soldiers. The U.S. proposal, which would allow a quick allocation of units engaged in Afghanistan, would be a problem to French land weapons industrial whose vehicles may also be of interest to the Army. This is the case with Nexter with the Aravis and with Panhard, associated to Thales with the Bushmaster.
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