UNIFIL Press Statement on Amphibious landing of new French APC in UNIFIL, 17 September 2010
UNIFIL's French battalion has commenced phased replacement of its tracked Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) with modern wheeled versions that will reduce noise and be softer on the roads of south Lebanon.
14 new armoured infantry vehicles (VBCI) and 74 lighter vehicles were disembarked today (Friday 17 September) at the Port of Naqoura by the French Navy ship "Foudre" using amphibious landing crafts. 230 French peacekeepers also arrived in the framework of regular rotation of troops in UNIFIL.
The 'VBCI' will replace 17 'AMX 10 P' tracked APCs hitherto used by the French battalion in UNIFIL. The older APCs were embarked today on the "Foudre" to return to France on 25 September. UNIFIL's French battalion will continue to have 17 APCs of the AMX 10 P generation.
The VBCI is a wheeled 8X8 cross-country armoured vehicle that can accommodate a two-person crew and 11 soldiers, meeting their operational and protection needs.
Part of the progressive modernization of all French infantry units, induction of the VBCI will not change the posture and capacity of the French contingent in UNIFIL.
UNIFIL's priority to minimize disturbance to the local population or damage to infrastructure during operations in south Lebanon is duly enhanced by this measure. The new wheeled VBCI will generate less noise and better protect the road surface as compared to the older tracked APC.