The six-wheeled armoured car known as the Renault VBC-90, or Véhicule Blindé de Combat, was created by Renault in association with Saviem and Creusot-Loire. With its powerful fire control computer and ranging system built into its durable 90mm high-velocity gun, this vehicle is quite impressive. The VBC-90 was initially designed for use in armed reconnaissance and internal security missions.
It was modelled after Renault’s Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé (VAB) armoured personnel carrier. Notably, Argentina licensed the production of a prototype known as the Vehículos de Apoyo y Exploración. With multiple chassis designs that resembled the VAB and the Berliet VXB-170, the VBC-90 demonstrated adaptability. This armoured combat vehicle is a prime example of Renault’s dedication to developing cutting-edge military technology. It is a strategic combination of mobility and firepower.
8.135 metres (26 feet 8.3 inches) long with the cannon forward and 5.63 metres (18 feet 6 inches) long without it, the vehicle weighs 13,500 kilograms (29,800 lb). 2.50 metres (8 feet 2 inches) in width and 2.552 metres (8 feet 4.5 inches) in height make up this object. Three people make up the crew. Six to eight millimetres make up the thickness of the armour. Featuring a powerful 90 mm rifled gun as its primary armament, it is further enhanced by four smoke dischargers and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun as additional weaponry.
This armoured vehicle is propelled by a 6-cylinder, water-cooled, turbocharged diesel engine, Renault MIDS 06.20.45, producing 220 horsepower (160 kW). The car has a 6×6 wheel suspension system and a power-to-weight ratio of 16 horsepower per tonne. It performs admirably, reaching a maximum speed of 92 km/h (57 mph) and an operational range of astonishing 1,000 kilometres (620 miles). With its powerful weaponry, innovative engineering, and tactical mobility, this vehicle makes a strong and adaptable impression on the battlefield.
Renault created a reduced form of the VBC-90, known as the Vehículos de Apoyo y Exploración (VAPE), exclusively for Argentina. For support and reconnaissance applications, this version was made to be lightweight. The VAPE was tested in conjunction with a more significant model of the Panhard-provided ERC 90 Sagaie during the evaluation phase. The Argentine Army’s preferences for armoured vehicles appear to differ, as neither the heavier Panhard type nor the Renault VAPE were adopted despite these efforts.
Under the leadership of several different countries, the armoured-wheeled vehicle VBC-90 is reported to have taken part in several missions. Notably, it has been used in France and Oman. Most likely, the VBC-90 operated in Oman in a manner unique to the area, supporting national military or peacekeeping missions. Its presence in France, however, points to a flexible use case, either involving support for foreign missions or internal security measures.
The fact that the vehicle may be deployed in Lebanon further emphasises how versatile it is and indicates that it may be used in a variety of geopolitical scenarios. Being an armoured vehicle, the VBC-90 is built to survive and function in a variety of ground types, from metropolitan areas to untamed wilderness. A versatile asset for military and security operations across a variety of environments, its wheeled form suggests the potential for both off-road and on-road tasks.