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TL;DR: A 6x6 APC equipped with a 90mm cannon in a two-man turret.
In 1974, the French military approved the employment of a new wheeled APC called the VAB, or Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé, in its 4x4 configuration, while the proposed 6x6 configuration was rejected and repurposed for export. The VAB, in both its 4x4 and 6x6 configurations, went on to be incredibly successful as an export, with over 500 examples finding themselves in service with the militaries of over 10 different countries, proving itself in at least 12 conflicts. Needless to say, the VAB was a good platform. At Eurosatory 2010, Renault Trucks Defense officially unveiled the VAB Mark II in, like the standard VAB, both 4x4 and 6x6 configurations. It was advertised as being just as robust and reliable as the standard VAB, however, with far superior mobility, internal volume, and protection. Unfortunately, the VAB Mark II did not inherit the success of its predecessor as it did not receive any orders, domestic or otherwise. In response to this, at Eurosatory 2012, Renault Trucks Defense unveiled the VAB Mark III, which was less of an improvement over the VAB/VAB Mark II and more of a redesign. Modularity was one of the main selling points. As such, many different armament and equipment options were available. One of these armament options, shown off at IDEX 2017, was the Cockerill CSE 90LP turret, a two-man turret equipped with a 90mm Cockerill Mk 8 Low-Pressure Cannon. In its basic configuration, the turret comes with a bustle-mounted autoloader, a fully stabilized gunner sight, a laser rangefinder, and a ballistic computer to assist with firing on the move. The cannon itself is not stabilized, however. Thermal vision devices are available if the customer needs them. Since this turret is manned, it takes up space in the VAB Mark III’s passenger compartment, which results in a lower maximum passenger count. There have been no orders for this specific variant of the VAB Mark III, however, as of 2022, it is still being marketed by Arquus, successor of Renault Trucks Defense.
Place In War Thunder:
When it comes to Rank V ground forces, France’s tech tree is, quite frankly, anemic. There are a number of vehicles that can help fatten this rank up, with the VAB Mark III CSE 90LP being one of them. It’s armament is deceptively powerful as it able to fire APFSDS that can penetrate 100mm of armor angled at 60 degrees from 1000m away. Sure, its main weapon is not stabilized, however, it does have a stabilized gunner sight and a ballistic computer to help mitigate this drawback as much as possible. Playstyle would be that of a sniper. Your mobility would allow you to get into a strong early-game position, allowing you to either get a few scouts off or pick off an MBT or two before you reposition and do the same thing again. If you find yourself getting caught in the open, pray that whatever sees you isn’t an autocannon carrier and do your best to avoid losing all of your crew. If you can do that, you can win the engagement as your autoloader will ensure that you get as many shots as you need. In-game placement of the vehicle can be done in a few ways. It could supplement a future French wheeled line along with other VAB variants or it can be added as something more limited, like a squadron or battlepass vehicle, due to its current one-off nature.
Armament: 90mm Cockerill Mk 8 Low-Pressure Cannon and 1x 7.62mm MG
Dimensions: 7.30m, 2.65m, 2.50m (L,W,H)
Armor: STANAG 4
Ammunition: APFSDS, HEAT, HESH, Canister, Smoke
Speed: 100kph (land) 10kph (water)
Cockerill CSE 90LP weapon system 90 mm turret armored vehicle | Belgium Belgian light heavy weapons UK | Belgian army military equipment vehicle UK
Cockerill® CSE 90LP two-person turret : Defense - John Cockerill
VAB MK 3 | VAB 6x6 Combat proven infantry fighting vehicle for 40 years