|VXB-170 1973 to present|
|Type||Armoured personnel carrier|
|Place of origin||France|
|Used by||France, Gabon, Senegal|
|Weight||12.7 tonnes (12.5 long tons)|
|Length||5.99 m (19 ft 8 in)|
|Width||2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)|
|Height||2.05 m (6 ft 9 in)|
|Crew||1 or 2|
The Berliet VXB-170 is a four-wheel armoured vehicle produced by Berliet until Berliet was merged with Saviem to form Renault Trucks (now as Renault Trucks Défense).
The Armored Wheeled Vehicle of the Gendarmerie (VBRG) is the most common name of Berliet VXB 170 in France . It is an armored four-wheel drive vehicle intended primarily for law enforcement missions .
Designed by Berliet in the late 1960s , the VXB 170 was adopted in 1972 by the French National Gendarmerie, which put it into service from 1974 under the name of VBRG . But it is not retained to equip the French Army which chooses the armored vehicle of Saviem (Renault group) and it knows a limited success to the export. Its production is stopped after only 179 copies of series
Its design dates back to 1969 as part of the BL-12 project, which maximizes the use of brand heavy-vehicle components . It will be put into production under the reference VXB 170 in the Bourg-en-Bresse factory. 170 indicates the power of its engine (170 hp).
Various versions are proposed for the Gendarmerie, which selects it in 1972, as well as for the Army and for the export. Berliet will present prototypes equipped with different armaments : 20 mm gun, 20 mm two-tube gun for anti-aircraft defense, 90 mm gun , etc.
In 1974, Berliet, which had been owned by Citroën since 1967, was sold to Renault. The same year, the French Army chooses the VAB for its future troop carrier and the VXB, though cheaper, becomes redundant in the offer of Renault, which will lead to the cessation of production.
The VXB 170 is a Armored Personnel Carrier fairly standard built around a rectangular box welded steel of 7 mm thick at maximum .
This armored based on a suspension by rigid bridge , chosen for its robustness and simplicity . Two driving axles are present, each supporting two wheels .The VXB 170 is equipped with the V800 engine, already proven on board the buses of the brand. This 8-cylinder V, placed at the rear left of the vehicle, develops a maximum power of 170 hp .
The driver is located at the front left of the vehicle. A second place is installed on his right. The driver can see the road from a large central windshield and two windows on both sides of the windshield. Protective grilles are installed for law enforcement operations. In the event of a fight, armored shutters can be positioned in front of the windows. In this case, the vision is made by three episcopes located on the roof .Behind them is the turret operator's post. Finally, a group of 6 to 8 men can settle on a double bench and four seats. Access to the interior of the vehicle is via two side doors and a smaller one at the rear, next to the hatch of the engine compartment.
The VXB can tackle slopes of 60 % . It is amphibious and can receive - as an option - hydrojets (but this equipment was not retained by any customer).In the early 1970s , there is the problem of replacing half-tracks. But the experience of the events of May 1968 , during which the use of bulldozers to destroy the barricades was conclusive , led the Gendarmerie to launch a tender for a machine equipped with a blade and / or a winch and whose main mission is no longer the fight but the maintenance of order . It will choose Berliet VXB after a competition against the Panhard M3 from July 1971 to January 1972 .Beginning in 1974 , the VXB 170 entered service in the mobile gendarmerie under the name of wheeled armored vehicle of the Gendarmerie (VBRG). 155 copies are ordered .
In the VBRG configuration, the crew (a driver, an operator in the turret and a skipper)is completed by a tactical group carried consisting of 6 to 8 gendarmes.The staffing of a platoon was initially four gears. It was successively reduced to three and then two armored vehicles - nine for a full GBGM squadron (all mobile gendarmerie squadrons changed to a "quaternary" format - four squadrons per squadron - in the early 2000s) .
Initially armed with a circular rail machine gun, it will then be equipped with a single-seat turret equipped with a 7.62mm AA52 machine gun and a 56mm Cougar grenade launcher (after different versions of turrets and hoods have been tested). It may also be provided with a tear disperser .
There were originally three versions, internal security, reconnaissance and patrol, and light combat. The VXB was produced by both Berliet and Saviem, the Berliet version is equipped with hydrojets.
The VBRGs, exclusively intended for law enforcement operations, all receive the blue livery of the Gendarmerie to distinguish them from combat vehicles .The VBRG is available in four variants :
- Basic VBRG;
- "blade" version with a hydraulically operated tappet on the front;
- version "winch" with a winch at the front;
- "PC" version equipped with reinforced radio loudspeaker .
Armor 7 mm