Saudi Arabia is set to receive 100 VAB Mk3 6X6 armored personnel carriers and 100 Sherpa light tactical vehicles for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) it ordered from France.
The armored vehicles are part of a $3 billion package from to Lebanon. The French parliament's defence commission on 27 January that his company had just signed a contract to deliver 100 VAB Mk3 6x6 armoured personnel carriers and 100 Sherpa Light tactical vehicles to Lebanon, Emmanuel Levacher, the director-general of Renault Trucks Defence was quoted as saying by IHS Janes Wednesday.
However, Riyadh announced in February it was suspending the $3 billion grant, as well as the unspent part of another USD1 billion it pledged for the Lebanese security forces in August 2014. It cited the Lebanese government's refusal to condemn the 2 January attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran as the reason, Janes reported.
Saudi Arabia was obliged to honour the contract that had already been awarded to Renault Trucks Defence. According to a Lebanese political source familiar with the Saudi-French arrangement, Riyadh initially planned to transfer the vehicles to its ally Egypt, but encountered unspecified complications with securing the necessary export licence for Cairo, and decided to take the vehicles itself.
During the Eurosatory show held in Paris in June, Nexter revealed it had an order to supply ARX25 weapon stations for 100 VAB Mk3 APCs ordered by a Middle Eastern country it declined to identify. It said the initial deliveries are scheduled for 2018.
The ARX25 is fitted with a stabilised 25 mm M811 dual-feed autocannon and a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun.