[Would you like to see this in-game?]
TL;DR: A 4x4 car equipped with a remote weapon station that houses an M230LF 30mm chain gun.
The Panhard CRAB, or Combat Reconnaissance Armored Buggy, is a relatively newly developed French 4x4 armored car, which was developed to meet the requirements set by the French Army under Project Scorpion. It was first officially unveiled at Eurosatory 2012 at which it sported the Belgian developed Cockerill CPWS 25, a remotely operated turret equipped with a two-plane stabilizer, thermal camera, and an American M242 Bushmaster 25mm chain gun. Since then, the CRAB had made many appearances at many different shows, always sporting a variant of the Cockerill CPWS, most commonly the CPWS 25. That being said, the M242 Bushmaster isn’t the only cannon the CPWS is capable of carrying. At Eurosatory 2014, the Panhard CRAB appeared equipped with a Cockerill CPWS 30, a 30mm variant of the CPWS. This specific CPWS 30 mounted the American M230LF 30mm chain gun, a lightweight ground variant of the M230 30mm chain gun that can be found on the American AH-64 Apache. Despite being a larger caliber, the M230LF is an overall smaller cannon than the M242. It can be reasonably assumed that the M230LF armed CRAB was not too terribly popular among customers as it has not been seen since Eurosatory 2014. The Panhard CRAB itself is equipped with a 360hp engine, allowing for a speed of 110kph to be easily achieved. It’s armor is rated at STANAG Level 3, which provides protection against LMG fire and artillery shrapnel. A STANAG Level 4 upgrade, which provides protection against 14.5mm HMG rounds, is also available. Its light weight gives it very low ground pressure, allowing the CRAB to confidently traverse soft terrain. Adding to this, the CRAB is also capable of moving around silently under the power of its battery. The most interesting aspect of the CRAB, however, is what its acronym was designed spell out. Through the pointing of its wheels inward, the Panhard CRAB can move laterally like a crab.
Place In War Thunder:
Small and speedy vehicles have always had their place in War Thunder and vehicles solely armed with autocannons have recently made their usefulness in the current meta known. It is only fair for every nation to receive such vehicles. For France, one of the options is the Panhard CRAB CPWS and its variants. Panhard CRAB CPWS 30 (M230LF) would make a very good first introduction to the modern portion of a French armored car line as it has incredibly speed and good tech (stabilizer and thermals), however, its weapon is not too impressive. The M230LF chain gun was originally a cannon made to be put onto helicopters. As such, its ammunition was centered around anti-infantry and striking the soft tops of vehicles. That being said, its HEDP round still has a maximum penetration of 54mm, which is more than enough to shred barrels and set fires. Playstyle would be rather passive as your main priority is to keep your team informed of enemy positions, shredding any scouts along the way. You’d want to stay away from direct confrontation with MBTs and other heavily armored vehicles as your cannon cannot reliably destroy them. You essentially want to be a dedicated scout or a scout hunter. Your speed and maneuverability is your greatest strength. As such, repositioning after every few scouts or kill would be ideal. You’d be incredibly vulnerable to artillery and strafing, so its best to stay out of sight and out of mind. The Panhard CRAB CPWS 30 (M230LF) can be added in a number of ways. Ideally, it would be added as an introduction to France’s modern armored cars in the tech tree, however, as it was essentially a one-off not seen outside of a single show, it could easily be added as a GE premium or battlepass vehicle.
Armament: 30mm M230LF chain gun and 1x 7.62 mm MG
Dimensions: 5.00m, 2.50m, 1.80m (Without Turret) (L,W,H)
Armor: STANAG Level 3 (Protection against LMG and shrapnel)
Ammunition: HEDP, HEI, Airburst
CPWS 25-30 medium calibre Cockerill protected weapon station technical data sheet specifications | Belgium Belgian light heavy weapons UK | Belgian army military equipment vehicle UK
Eurosatory: CMI Defence presents the Cockerill CPWS 20-25-30 - John Cockerill
WARFARE TECHNOLOGY: M230LF Alternative for .50cal & 40mm AGL??
WarWheels.Net- CRAB- Combat Reconnaissance Armored Buggy
The Panhard CRAB - TankNutDave.com