The VBC 90 was a good reliable design. Based on the VAB, the chassis was easily maintainable (especially if you already had a VAB fleet). IT didn’t see many orderes (34 total, the ERC was more popular). As good as the TS 90 was for lighter vehicles, a shift towards a heavier, roomier turret was needed to expand the capabilities of the design as due to the designers reducing the weight of the turret to the maximum, the TS90 did not leave much room for improvment. Well, except add-on armour.
However, SAMM, a french company (AMX 30 turret drive, stabilized AMX 30) developped a new turret to replace the GIAT TS90 : the SAMM TTB190.This turret being an upgrade for the 90mm wheeled vehicles, the other big wheeled vehicle manufacturer caught on pretty quick about this new turret but instead of staying with its old chassis, improved it further to create the ERC 90 Sagaie II. Both vehicles were trialled for 10 month by the French Army’s S.T.A.T. (the guys that will try anything the army finds interesting, pushing it to see how resilient it is) Renault did not improve its chassis much until both competitors ran for Argentina’s VAPE program where amphibious capabilities were added to the VAPE 1 (Renault’s entry, which changed the front a little bit into a 2 piece UFP, re-used the pre-series triple episcope driver’s hatch instead of the series windowed one and changed the air intakes from the side to the top of the structure to enable snorkels and the addition of Messier type hydrojets). Sadly none of these evolution of the VBC recieved order, both never leaving the prototype and trial phase.
The normal VBC 90 is a 12800 kg (12.8 tonnes) vehicle with a D2356 235hp engine at 2200 rpm and a Renault Transfluid 6 forward (92 km/h)/ 1 reverse (-13km/h) gears transmission with integrated gearbox. The hp/t is 18.36 tonnes. However due to the heavier TTB190 turret, which is 3200kg (equipped) instead of 2650 kg (equipped) for the TS90, the vehicle gains 550 kg. It is now 13350kg (13.3 tonnes), reducing the hp/t ration to 17.6. The crew is still 3 members as the turret is still manned by a gunner and a commander/loader and a driver.
The turret still uses the same CS 90 F4 aka “Super 90” gun with the same ammunition as the previous TS90 variant. However it gets one major improvment over the TS90 : a stabilizer. Indeed the main selling point of the TTB190 is its two axis stabilized TE 06 drive which enables the vehicle to fire-on-the-move.
Quick overview (manual in a spoiler beneath)
-8°/+20° (14°/s stabilized)
360° (35°/s stabilized)
32 shells in turret (with semi autoloader) 35 shells (without)
Gunner has the LRS 7 periscope sight (big roof thing on the left)
X8 (7°) day and X4 (7°) night sight with laser rangefinder (9,995m)
Commander has his own controls of the fire control system (relevant with the new commander control) with an (X8 9° day channel and X8 7,9°night channel sight)
Commander has cupola rail mounted a 7.62 AA52 machinegun
A thermal sight was proposed but only mounted on the ERC 90 Sagaie II during its desert trial
2x2 smoke launcher
This variant has the overlapping gun mantlet that adds protection against 14.5mm weapons on top of the 7.62mm of the normal turret
VBC 90 with additional mantlet
Full mantlet from the brochure
Listed as pre-armour here (Satory)
VBC 90 with the small 7.62mm proof mantlet (actually its the VAPE 1 but they use the same turret and similar chassis. Also because of the telescopic gunsight, a hole had to be punctured into the turret armour) (you can also see this one is amphibious and has the preseries hatch)
Inside of the turret (with ready rack of 10 rounds, enables a 6 sec reload)
2nd picture says 32 rounds (35 without revolving rack) including 10 first stage rack (8 in revolving rack, 2 ready to be loaded)
Also confirm the commander can see the distance measured by rangefinder ( “son pupitre lui indiquant la distance de la cible telle que télémétrée par le tireur”, his information display telling him the distance to target as measured by the gunner)
Jane’s A&A 91 (VBC 90 picture) (the page is about the TS 90 version but there is a TTB190 picture as well)
SAMM’s TTB190 Commercial brochure
Some pictures come from the VAPE suggestion (VBC 90 is the VAPE 1 there)
International Defence Review January 1985 ( thermals were IRL only mounted on the ERC but if needed Gaijin can add them to the VBC as well)
Turret weights and subsequent hp/t were calculated using Jane’s AFV retrofit 93