Panhard VBL (Véhicule Blindé Léger)

The Panhard Véhicule Blindé Léger (“Light armoured vehicle”), also known by its acronym Panhard VBL or simply VBL, is a French wheeled 4×4 all-terrain vehicle built by Panhard. The vehicle is offered in various configurations, and was designed to combine the agility of the Peugeot VLTT liaison vehicle with adequate protection against small arms fire, artillery fragments, mines and NBC weapons. The VBL is fully amphibious and can swim at 5.4 km/h; it is also air transportable by C-130, C-160 and A400M. It was developed during the 1980s and entered operational service in France in 1990. It has a fuel consumption of 16 litres per 100 km.
The VBL has been used in many peacekeeping operations, notably in Bosnia, Lebanon, Somalia and Kosovo.
In the 2000s and 2010s, the VBL has also been used by French forces in Ivory Coast, in Afghanistan and in Northern Mali.
Due to the contribution of the French Army to the Blue Helmets in Yugoslavia, the VBL was one of the ubiquitous sights in the Siege of Sarajevo, earning it the nickname of “Sarajevo Taxi”.
The Nigerian Army used the Panhard VBL M11 during Counter Insurgency operations in the Niger Delta, the Jos Plateau as well as counter-insurgency operations in the North of the Country in 2013. The Nigerian Army versions carry a .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO) Browning HMG.

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