Armor: August 26, 2002


: The French have unveiled a new reconnaissance system known as SYPORA (Mulifunction Observation and Reconnaissance System). This is a standard VLRB 4x4 armored car fitted with new electronics, particularly the FINDERs battlefield data management system (the French version of "Nintendo for real war"). The basic vehicle is a slight improvement over the previous versions. Its armor will stop 7.62mm bullets from thirty meters, and its V-shaped lower hull is resistant to mines. It has a remotely-operated weapon station (the French Army will fit this with a 12.7mm machinegun but it could carry a weapon up to 30mm) that does not use up any internal volume. Sensors include an infrared camera and laser rangefinder. Systems include GPS navigation backed up by a ring-laser gyro. The vehicle could be operated by two men (driver, observer) but is designed to be operated by four (driver, observer, commander, dismounted scout). Because of its data links, the
French are advertising it for export as capable of a variety of roles: recon, command, forward artillery or air observer, controller of unmanned aerial vehicles, etc.--Stephen V Cole


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