Manufacturer: Nexter  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Self-propelled antitank guided missile system  

Erectable rectangular missile launcher with four missile tubes underneath.

New sighting system which includes a thermal camera.


Using the basic chassis of the Renault Trucks Defense VAB (4 × 4 and 6 × 6) armoured personnel carrier, a number of specialised anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) versions have been developed and placed in production.

While Renault Trucks Defense is the prime contractor for the chassis, Euromissile is responsible for the HOT launcher, missile and systems integration.

Production of the VAB was completed for the home and export markets several years ago but if sufficient orders are placed then production can start again. The VAB tank destroyers of the French Army have been overhauled to extend their operational lives.

The French Army took delivery of almost 4,000 VAB (4 × 4) APC and variants and these are now going through a major automotive upgrade to extend their operational lives. Additional details are given in the entry for the Renault Trucks Defense VAB armoured personnel carrier.


The chassis is identical to the standard production VAB (4 × 4 and 6 × 6) armoured personnel carrier and is fully described in the Armoured personnel carriers (wheeled) section. Details are also given in the latter on a number of automotive upgrades that are now being marketed by Renault Trucks Defense for the VAB 4×4 and 6×6 chassis.

VCAC HOT Mephisto

This has been in service with the French Army for some years in its 4 × 4 configuration and is basically the VAB with the Euromissile Mephisto system armed with four HOT ATGWs. The missile has a maximum range of 4,000 m and a minimum range of 75 m.

The launcher is powered and can be traversed through a full 360° with elevation from -10 to +10°.

When travelling, the launcher is retracted flush with the roof of the VAB and raised when required.

In addition to the four HOT ATGWs in the ready to launch position, a further eight HOT missiles are carried in reserve in two four-round magazines. These are loaded automatically when the launcher is retracted.

The gunner is provided with a roof-mounted Nexter (previously Giat Industries) APX 590 gyrostabilised mirror-type sight with day magnifications of ×3 and ×12 and if required this can be raised independently of the launcher module. A thermal camera can be fitted as an option to engage targets under night and poor weather conditions. The thermal camera is now standard on all French Army VAB VCAC HOT Mephisto systems.


This was originally developed specifically for the export market and is a VAB fitted with a roof-mounted Euromissile UTM 800 one-person turret with four HOT ATGWs in the ready to launch position and a further 16 HOT missiles in reserve in the hull. New missiles are loaded manually through the roof hatches to the rear of the turret.

The one-man power-operated turret can be traversed through a full 360° and the HOT missiles, two either side of the turret, can be elevated from -6 to +22°. Turret traverse and weapon elevation are electric with manual controls for emergency use.

The turret is fitted with an APX M509 day sight with magnifications of ×3 and ×12 and the option of a thermal camera for engaging targets at night.

A 7.62 mm machine gun on a Nexter Systems STBV gun ring shield is located on the roof at the front right side and 2,000 rounds of machine gun ammunition are carried for this weapon.

This version is not used by the French Army but is known to be in service with Cyprus (18) and Qatar (24). There has been no production of these turrets for some time.

French Army VAB with MILAN ATGW

It is understood that the French Army deploys a total of 113 VAB (4 × 4) APC carrying the 2,000 m range MILAN man-portable ATGW system.

French Army VAB with Eryx ATGW

It is understood that the French Army deploys a total of 172 VAB (4 × 4) carrying teams equipped with the Eryx short range ATGW system.

Property Value
Number of drive wheels
Number of wheels
Number of rocket lunchers

Has folowing part:
Total Amount
HOT (Anti-tank guided missile launcher)

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