First world presentation of the CRAB (Combat Reconnaissance Armoured Buggy)
Panhard has a long tradition for designing and manufacturing combat armoured vehicles,
which have met success both in France and at export ((AMD, AML, EBR, ERC) for fifty
years. The new Panhard’s offer has gone through the creation of a new kind of land mobile
weapon system, providing us with the best technology while meeting exacting economic
criteria. The CRAB, a revolutionary concept without any equivalent on the market, will
introduce a new kind of mobile warfare.
Major General Vincent Desportes, a special advisor to the Chairman of Panhard highlights
the CRAB concept: “the armed forces are facing decreasing procurement budgets together
with increasing fielding costs for future equipment, which automatically leads to decreasing
forces’ size, which get under the threshold of critical manoeuvre sizes. Therefore, the CRAB
was designed with the view of providing the French Army with a force-sparing tool,
enabling it to carry out a large number of missions – with very low LCCs (Life Cycle Costs)
– before committing major combat assets, the Leclerc MBT, the AMXRC wheeled armoured
vehicle, and then the ERBC (Recce and Combat WAV - Wheeled Armoured Vehicle –)”.
Owing to their specific features – mobility and firepower in particular – CRAB units fitted
with multipurpose equipment can efficiently take part in the three stages of an operation
(COMMITMENT, STABILIZATION, NORMALIZATION), and operate in the
OFFENSIVE, DEFENSIVE, or SECURITY mode during these different stages.
In the new environments for force commitment, security gets a primary role as the
adversary purpose is to attack weak points. In this area, CRAB units can have an essential
On this matter, Christian Mons, Panhard Chairman and CEO added: “Clearly, Panhard
aims at the VBAE (“WAV in support of commitments”) in tank squadrons. The VBAE is
currently at stage 2 of the Scorpion operation. The purpose for the VBAE goes beyond
reconnaissance missions, which are currently fulfilled by the VBL, the eyes and the ears of
Leclerc MBTs and AMX10RC wheeled armoured vehicles. The “commitment support” role
may be more important and include a NLOS (Non Line Of Sight) function that the ERBC
will not have. The CRAB has been designed with this platform modularity concept.”
The CRAB includes a couple of emerging technologies: a crew citadel and remotecontrolled weapon systems that enable us to have a light, compact, and very well protected
The drive line is designed so as to have a very high speed on all terrains, and a large agility
in complex (in particular built-up) areas. Thales is working alongside Panhard to develop
the CRAB. The French electronic manufacturer provides the Systronique vetronic network,
on the basis of standardized crew stations, compatible with the future Scorpion labels and
As regards weapon systems and systems, the CRAB’s load capability enables us to offer a
combat platform as a whole family, with weapon systems including 7.62-mm to 30-mm
weapons and missiles for land warfare and air-defence warfare.
An actual contingency airlift deployment capability will be restored with the CRAB as it
will be possible to load three vehicles aboard an A400M Transportation aircraft.
Panhard estimates the world market to amount to several thousands of vehicles.
The CRAB will be presented at the Eurosatory show for the first time; it will take place at
Villepinte from 11th to 15th June in a version equipped with the CMI (Cockerill
Maintenance & Ingenierie) remote-controlled 25-mm turret.
Weight in combat configuration: from 8 to 10 tons according to weapons systems and
Ballistic protection: STANAG 4569-levels 2 to 4
Mine protection: 2/3 (STANAG 4569)
Crew: 3 men
Remote-controlled 7.62-mm to 30-mm weapon system + guided missile or rockets
Speed: > 110 km/h
Weight/Power ratio : > 35hp/t
Large-travel active suspension system with large-diameter tyres
Standing 4x4 configuration
Capability to reverse at high speed, move crabwise, and turn the rear wheels in the opposite
direction, to make a U-turn within a 10-metre diameter.
Vetronic: Thales compatible Scorpion, HMI (Human Machine Interface) through multifunction colour screens with three crew stations.
Low profile (roof top at about 1.80 metre).
Airlift: 3 vehicles aboard an A400M,