Qatar Orders Nexter VBCI Infantry Fighting Vehicle

The VBCI-2 offers improved protection, mobility and firepower. The vehicle design was proven in French military combat operations in Mali.

The French Armed Forces Ministry confirmed on 7 December that Qatar has signed a letter of intent to purchase both additional Rafale aircraft and 490 VBCI Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV).

The VBCI part of the deal is valued at between US$1.7 (€1.5) billion and US$3.76(€3.2) billion depending on the armament selected. The VBCI-2 was seen in the summer of 2016 undergoing trails in Qatar. The 8 X 8 VBCI-2 is the latest improvement of this French IFV.

Carrying six dismounts and a crew of three it is offered with various turrets and guns. However, test vehicles had the 40mm CTAS which is also being used on the French future JAGUAR recon vehicle and the British Army Scout. It is 32000 kg with 14.5mm all-around protection that is modular allowing upgrading. The improved interior climate control reflects lessons learned from the Mali combat operations. It also has a 600 hp diesel engine, larger tries with central tire inflation and an adjustable hydro-pneumatic suspension.

A contract is expected to be signed in 2018.

by Stephen W. Miller