Manufacturer: ACMAT - Ateliers de Construction Mecanique de l'Atlantique  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Reconnaissance Vehicle  

A French industrial consortium consisting of ACMAT, Thales Optronique and Nexter (previously Giat Industries) have developed a new armoured reconnaissance system called Systeme Polyvalent d'Observation et de Reconnaissance de l'Avant (SYPORA) for the export market.

According to the consortium, the role of the SYPORA system is to gather and transmit reconnaissance information from as far forwards as possible and send this in real time to the higher chain of command. As of early 2007, the SYPORA reconnaissance system remained at the prototype stage.


SYPORA is based on the proven Ateliers de Construction Mecanique de l'Atlantique (ACMAT) (4 × 4) cross-country vehicle chassis of which well over 11,000 have been built for the home and export market.

The actual ACMAT vehicle is called the VLRB armoured liaison and reconnaissance vehicle with the internal company designation being the Type TCM 4.20 BL6. Details of this vehicle are given in a separate entry.

Given that reconnaissance missions have often to be carried out over extended periods of time, SYPORA ergonomics and man-machine interfaces have been optimised for missions lasting more than 72 hours.

For increased comfort and safety, the four crew members are each provided with ergonomically designed seats with head rests and seat belts. Total internal volume is 6.5 m3 with four large side doors, two roof hatches and an emergency exit at the rear being provided.

The power pack consists of a Cummins turbo charged and intercooled diesel engine developing 167 hp at 2,500 rpm, which meets EURO III requirements. This is coupled to an Allison fully automatic transmission with five forward and one reverse gears and an ACMAT two-speed transfer box.

Front and rear suspension consists of heavy-duty telescopic shock absorbers with the cross-country tyres being fitted with a central tyre-pressure regulation system. This allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressure to suit the terrain being crossed and in marginal terrain improves cross-country mobility.

Mounted on the roof of the SYPORA is a Thales Land & Joint Systems SWARM which is armed with a 12.7 mm M2 machine gun and banks of electrically operated smoke grenade launchers covering the frontal arc.

The sensor suite is mounted on SWARM and consists of an infra-red camera with three fields of view (6/2/1), colour TV with zoom lens and a laser range-finder which are all harmonised on the same sight line and are fully stabilised. A key feature of SWARM is that it does not protrude into the hull of the vehicle so saving valuable space.

The weapons and sensor suite are controlled from within the vehicle by the commander or observer using a joystick mounted on the interface panel of the command support system inside of the vehicle. The command support system can automatically point the turret at a target designated by radio.

SYPORA is fitted with a high-performance navigation system that features a laser gyro, global positioning system, driver screen and an odometer.

In addition, it features a Nexter Fast Information, Navigation, Decision and Reporting System (FINDERS) battle management system which has been produced in large quantities for installation in the Nexter Leclerc tanks supplied to the United Arab Emirates.

The FINDERS system has been developed by Nexter for the real-time acquisition, processing, display and distribution of information between vehicles and/or the command post. It can carry out a number of advanced observation and surveillance support functions. These include area map display system, navigation aids, identification library, position of vehicle and friendly vehicles, observation sector management and automatic scanning, graphic display of tactical and navigation information, tactical data and voice transmission management, VHF transmission facilities and interface with higher level command.

Installed on the ACMAT chassis is an all VHD welded steel armour body that is claimed to provide protection from 7.62 mm NATO ball small arms fire at 30 m (Level I) through a full 360 and shell splinters.

For a higher level of protection, appliqué armour can be fitted. All windows are fitted with 80 mm thick armoured glass, which provides the same level of protection as the armoured hull. The lower part of the hull is V-shaped for increased protection against mines and is 8 mm thick.

Standard equipment includes power-assisted steering, air conditioning, NBC system, heater and anti-skid braking. According to the SYPORA consortium, the overall design of the vehicle has been optimised for stealth.

The smoke/fragmentation launchers provide the SYPORA with a self-defence capability. The laser warning receivers are connected to the smoke/fragmentation launchers. In addition, there is an acoustic gun fire sensor and a combat identification system.

Although the baseline SYPORA is only armed with a 12.7 mm M2 machine gun, other weapons stations could be fitted up to 30 mm in calibre. Short-range missile systems could also be installed on the vehicle.

With the increased emphasis being placed on rapid deployment forces, the SYPORA system is fully air portable in a C-130 and C-160 aircraft.

Typical roles of the SYPORA are claimed to include command post vehicle, convoy escort, artillery observation, UAV control vehicle, NBC and weather reconnaissance vehicle and radio relay.

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