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Panhard Ultrav-M11 4x4

The Panhard Ultrav-M11 and Renault VBL were competitors for French Army reconnaissance scout and anti-tank vehicle roles and for export (40-45 Mlls had been ordered by Mexico by 1985, and other orders followed). The French Army foresaw in 1977 the need for a much lighter wheeled armored vehicle, to which it gave the generic designation VBL, Vehicule Blinde Leger (light armored vehicle). This vehicle was capable of a widerange of missions but in particular of reconnaissance and of antitank combat with guided missiles. In response to this requirement, Panhard developed the Ultra-Light Armored Vehicle, or ULTRAV-M11, that not only met the requirements of the French Army, but also a much wider need for a versatile light armored vehicle.

Panhards Ultrav-Mll 4x4 is essentially an armored jeep in configuration, but it offers good armor protection and a swimming capability. The basic design of the MI1 is straightforward and eminently sound. It has an integral all-steel armored body with the engine at the front, an essential characteristic for a multi-purpose vehicle as it leaves the rear of the body clear for the installation of different weapons systems or to carry troops. Aft of the engine compartment is the driver's station with another crew seat beside it. The arrangement of the rear of the body depends upon the mission.

It weighs up to 3.55-tons, combat-loaded and carries a 3-man crew. It can bearmed with a MZLAN or TOW launcher(with 6 missiles) or a 12.7-mm or 7.62-mm machinegun. It is slightly larger than the FST-V but smaller than the Hummer. It is powered by a Peugeot XD3T 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled, turbo-charged 105-hp diesel coupled to a German ZF 3-speed automatic transmission. It has independent coil-spring suspension in front and torsion bars in the rear. It has a maximum speed of 95km/h on roads and 4 km/h in water. It can climb a 50-percent slope and has arange of 750-1,000 km with extra fuel.

pied by a gunner or missile operator and ammunition. When used as a personnel carrier, the rear provides space for up to four men. Exceptionally good access is provided by a rear door and two side doors. In addition, there are three circular roof hatches with those above the second crew member seat and above the rear of the body being used as weapon mounts.

The most powerful armament carried by the M11 is the Euromissile Milan anti-tank guided missile system. The missile launcher is mounted overthe rear of the body and six extra mis-siles are carried inside. In addition tothis missile system, the M11 carries a7.62-mm machinegun, mounted over the second crew members seat and 3,000 rounds of ammunition. The Franco-German Milan missile has a range of 2,000 meters and is not only the standard anti-tank guided weapon of the French and German infantry, but also of the British and several other European armies. An improved Milan has been produced with a larger shaped-charge warhead that can penetrate 1,060-mm of steel at optimum stand-off distance. Armed with the Milan, the M11 con-stitutes a very potent and highly mobile antitank weapon system which can be effectively employed in delaying or covering force operations in support ofmajor combat elements or by itself.

The high mobility of the M11 comes from the combination of its light weight and automotive characteristics. Its combat-loaded weight is 3.54 metric tonnes, or 7,807 lbs. Empty, it weighs 2.85 tonnes, or 6,284 Ibs., not much more than the basic, unarmored version of the M998 HMMWV. The Mlls light weight enables it to be air transported in relatively small cargo aircraft and to be airlifted by more than one type of helicopter. The M11 has a top road speed of 60mph and a range of 470 miles. It is amphibious and swims at 3.6 mph. Water crossing preparation takes no more than two minutes, including the erection of a transparent plastic bow vane. Its power-to-weight ratio is 30 hp per metric tonne (or 27 hp per U.S. short ton).

The engine is a militarized version of the 105-hp Peugeot car diesel engine and the German-made ZF transmission is also a standard, well-proven commercial product. The drive from the power unit is taken fore and aft to the four wheels which have step-down reduction gears to increase the ground clearance. All wheels are independently sprung and have disc brakes. Tires are 9.00 x 16 Michelin run-flat types which give a ground pressure of 11 Ib/in2 (lower than the nominal ground pressure of several battle tanks) which obviously assists the M11 in off-road operations.

The M11 is fully armored and protects against 7.62-mm ball and armor-piercing ammunition. The hull is built up of high-hardness steel armor plates welded into a single unit. This is superior, weight-wise, to conventional rolled homogeneous steel armor as well as to aluminum alloy armor. The MI1 stands only 67 inches high (5 7) and is fitted with two large front windows and a window in each of the three doors. The bullet-proof glass provides the same level of protection as does the armor plating. The good vision provided by the large front windows enables the driver to drive fast and safely. His vision is not limited to vision blocks or periscopes.This requirement for good driver vi-sion was observed several years ago inthe U.S. trials of the XM808 Twisterarmored reconnaissance vehicle, whichalso provided large front windows.The large windows on the MI1 alsoserve it well in other than combat situa-tions. For instance, in the internal se-curity role, the crew can observe allthat is going on around their vehicle inperfect safety.

There are, in fact, a large number of roles for which the M11 is suitable, or to which it can be adapted. Its developers claim that they can see 24 different versions of the basic vehicle. Panhard envisioned using the M11 as a commandand control vehicle, ground surveillance radar carrier, or air defense vehicle fitted with Stinger SAMs. What Panhard achieved with their new light vehicle was not surprising in view of their record of successful development of wheeled armored vehicles. In fact, Panhard had the world's longest record in the development of such vehicles.


  • 3 in version anti-tank device: head of machine, pilot, gunner MILAN
  • 2 in version light

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    Page last modified: 31-01-2013 16:45:07 ZULU