Qatar could purchase French Nexter Systems VBCI 8x8 armoured

Qatar has showed a great interest to purchase the French-made VCBI 8x8 infantry fighting vehicle, following a visit in France of the Minister of State for Defense Affairs of Qatar. In August 2015, a VBCI fitted with CTA40 40mm turret was spotted in Qatari video report showing the vehicle in trial tests in Qatar.

Qatar could purchase French Nexter Systems VBCI 8x8 armoured 925 001
French-made Nexter Systems VBCI with CTA40 turret at IDEX defense exhibition in UAE, February 2015.

Qatar is continuing to enhance their armoured fighting vehicle capability and would like to acquire 300 8x8 combat vehicles for a total amount of $2 billion. Few years ago, the French Company Nexter Systems the manufacturer of the VBCI, has responded to a request from Qatar for the purchase of 300 8x8 armoured vehicles. According to our sources, the VBCI was in competition with the Finnish Patria AMV.

The VBCI (French denomination of "Véhicule Blindé de Combat d'Infanterie)") is a French wheeled armoured infantry fighting vehicle designed and manufactured by the French Companies Nexter Systems and Renault Trucks Defense. The VBCI is in service with the French, it has already been successfully deployed for combat operations in Afghanistan and Mali.

The VBCI in the French Army is equipped with a one-man Nexter Dragar turret armed with a dual feed 25mm NATO cannon type 25 M811 with 150 rounds in the turret and a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun.

The hull and the turret of the VBCI Nexter Systems are composed by Welded steel and aluminium, who offers a protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. To increase the protection, the welded steel and aluminium alloy hull is fitted with spall liners and add-on titanium armour plate to protect against anti-tank weapons.

Qatar Qatari Higuard 8x8 armoured security vehicle IDEX 2013 925 001
Renault Trucks Defense Higuard 6x6 security vehicles of Qatari Security Forces at IDEX 2013, defense exhibition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Currently Qatar armed forces operate a fleet of Piranha II 8x8 LAVs (Light Armoured Vehicle) fitted with a CMI Defence two-man turret armed with a 90mm cannon and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, which were supplied by GKN Defence from 1998.

The Qatar Ministry of the Interior has recently boosted its capability with the delivery from Renault Trucks Defense of 10 Sherpa 4x4 light tactical vehicles and 22 Higuard 6x6 security vehicles. Both are mine resistant ambush protected- type vehicles especially designed to be used by internal security forces.

The Qatar has also purchased 30 Fennek 4x4 reconnaissance vehicles and 13 Dingo 2 Heavy Duty 4x4 protected vehicles from Germany.