The VAB Mk3 is Arquus’ flagship on the 6×6 market. Already in service and combat-proven in various armies around the world, it is a modern APC/IFV that Arquus constantly upgrades to 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 an IFV depending on the mission at hand. Its very compact architecture and low silhouette makes it a vehicle very well adapted to high-intensity conflicts against opponents equipped with multiple reconnaissance and aggression solutions. This concept proves once again its validity as modern combat vehicles tend to grow taller and bigger, which increases their visual signature on the battlefield.
At Eurosatory 2022, Arquus presented the VAB MK3 in a systems-ready configuration, with a wide array of systems that are highly relevant for modern-day operations and benefit from the close examination of recent combat experience. These systems add up to the native qualities of the VAB MK3, which is a very-well protected, versatile, and very mobile vehicle. The VAB MK3 exhibited demonstrated the Hornet Stealth Protection by Hornet, which ensures the vehicle’s self-protection, as well as collaborative protection for the whole task force.
The Hornet Stealth Protection combines a Hornet Remote-Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS), an independent ring mounted on the Hornet and fitted with a GALIX smoke grenade launcher by Lacroix, a Pilar V acoustic gunshot detector by Metravib and finally the Battlenet vehicle and systems sensors and effectors software management system, which links all sensors and equipment and provides with combat and collaborative protection and combat capabilities. Upon detection of a threat, the Stealth Protection System warns the operator and automatically orients the GALIX smoke grenade launcher to face the threat, as well as the Hornet RCWS if the operator 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 keep focusing on his current mission, either monitoring a sector or firing at a target, while the Stealth Protection System takes charge of the protection of the vehicle from the other threats. The system loads a total of two salvos, to be able to react to two consecutive targets incoming from identical or different directions. This solution can also integrate a laser detector warning system to add further detection and protection capabilities.
The VAB MK3 is also equipped with 360-degree low-light and thermal imaging cameras by Bertin Technologies that provide the crew with a full 360-degree situational awareness and the vehicle with night driving capabilities. The cameras and corresponding screens benefit from a very low response time which facilitate nighttime operations. This array also integrates a thermal mode which switches on 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 that enables continuous surveillance capabilities while in operations. That solution connects the drone to the 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 on their own battery. This innovative solution developed by Arastelle and integrated by ARQUUS allows the drone to remain in flight for as long as desired up to an altitude of 100m, reinforcing the surveillance and observation capacity by day and night. This solution offers higher performance than a mast, with a much smaller footprint, while providing additional tactical options for the UAVs deployed, which are also capable of evolving wirelessly to fulfil other missions.