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Anyone have any more photos/information on the French VP 90?
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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BenjaminLiottel
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:53 pm
Post subject: Anyone have any more photos/information on the French VP 90?

I was perusing through my little "Armoured Fighting Vehicles Of The World" 3rd Edition, by Christopher F. Foss, published in 1977, when I found the entry for this vehicle.

What a bizarre vehicle. If you look close, you can see that the right-hand occupant is in the prone position, looking through his little square window. And presumably, when underway, the Milan gunner would be in the prone position too. This is only the third Two Man Prone-Position Tankette i've ever heard of, the first two being the Russian PPG tankette, and the second being the Praying Mantis (when the gunnery compartment was lowered down while underway).

And just check out out many different configurations they were planning for this thing... Ambulance, troop transport, mortar carrier, recoiless rifle, Milan, TOW, dual 20mm guns, etc etc... Crazy little thing.

I'd love to know more. I'm guessing it was never accepted?



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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 2:41 pm
Post subject: Re: Anyone have any more photos/information on the French VP 90?

No info - but here's a couple photos of it at the Saumur armor museum.



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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 2:45 pm
Post subject: Re: Anyone have any more photos/information on the French VP 90?

Actually, I caught the description info in another shot...



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BenjaminLiottel
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:48 pm
Post subject: Re: Anyone have any more photos/information on the French VP 90?

Thank you very much Neil!

That vehicle appears to be a different model than the one I posted. But then again, I presume the one in my book was the 1977 model, and the plaque says this is the 1955 model.

If anyone else can contribute anything, that would be very helpful. Google searches haven't yielded anything at all.

Thanks again!!

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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:31 am
Post subject: Re: Anyone have any more photos/information on the French VP

The VP series first emerged under the Fouga name in the mid-50s. It was originally designed as an anti-tank unit vehicle but no orders were placed. Fouga was later bought up by Hotchkiss-Brandt who attempted to relaunch the VP-90 in the late-60s. They produced at least 4 variants but yet again nobody showed much interest except the French Army who tested a couple - more out of habit than anything else I think. In the 1980s LOHR who had taken it over from Hotchkiss-Brandt (after they gave up producing armour) had a rethink of the concept and reworked several prototypes into the fully armoured VPX version in three types, scout, milan & mortar.. again the French Army dutifully tested it but no orders followed. The Germans also tested it but didn't order it but a few years later the Weasel prototypes were produced and they bear a distiunct resemblance to the VPX.

In all there were probably 10 different prototypes in varying configurations produced over a 30 year period.

Cool

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BenjaminLiottel
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:40 pm
Post subject: Re: Anyone have any more photos/information on the French VP 90?

Thank you for that information Jim!

Do you have any pictures of the VPX?

I presume that LOHR decided to give the vehicle a more conventional crew layout, rather than the prone-position two-man setup of the previous vehicles?

I am really a big fan of the German Weasel airportable AFVs, so it is fascinating to think that the VP series of French prototypes may have influenced its design. Very very cool!

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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:14 pm
Post subject: Re: Anyone have any more photos/information on the French VP

Do you have any pictures of the VPX?


I'll add a load to the web site this weekend.

I presume that LOHR decided to give the vehicle a more conventional crew layout, rather than the prone-position two-man setup of the previous vehicles?


Yes - apparently driving an afv laid on your belly was pretty uncomfortable...

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