Abandoned ERC 90 Sagaie and Panhard VCR Found in France

Details are somewhat sketchy and the story isn’t new, but it went something like this; some guys who like to explore weird caves and/or bunkers found some abandoned military equipment in an abandoned bunker. They did not seem know much about the bunker but based on the vehicles found it was used well into the 1990s. And that until recently it was used for “cultivation of mushrooms”

Regardless, in there they found French ERC 90 Sagaie, Panhard VCR, and something that looks like a douce deuce-and-a-half. They also found some German WW1 and WW2 canons. I don’t know much about military equipment, so all of my information comes from the source site and wikipedia, so take that as you will. Pictures and wikipedia quotes after the jump, may lead to many unanswered questions.

Side note: If you recently sent anything to the tips line, we got it but it may take us a while to get back to you. Thanks.

[Source: pridian.net | Wikipeda Panhard VCR | Wikipedia ERC 90 Sagaie]

ERC 90 Sagaie

The PanhardERC 90 (Engin de Reconnaissance à Canon de 90 mm) is a French six-wheeled armoured all terrain vehicle which is highly mobile and amphibious with an option of being NBC-proof. While various models were tested, only two versions of the ERC were developed and produced: the Lynx and the Sagaie. The only difference between the two versions being the type of main cannon mounted in the turret. Sagaie means Assegai or Spear in French.

 Shortly after the ERC 90 F1 Lynx had been built for export, Panhard recognised the need for a cost effective light armoured vehicle that could defeat more modern main battle tanks (MBT), like the Russian T-72 which was being exported to many nations. They developed a turret in which they mounted the long barrel F4 90 mm smooth bore cannon developed by the French-government defence firm GIAT and designated the vehicle the ERC 90 F4 Sagaie. Unlike the Lynx version which could only fire medium velocity HEAT rounds in the anti-tank role, which lacked the penetration to defeat the more modern MBTs, the Sagaie could fire armour piercing fin stabilised discard sabot rounds (APFS-DS) at a much higher velocity than the Lynx’s F1 90 cannon and which at 2000 meters GIAT and Panhard both claimed would enable the Sagaie to defeat the heavy armour threat of the 1980s. For a while, GIAT engineers, were vexed with finding a suitable muzzle brake for the Sagaie which would not interferer with the firing of APFS-DS rounds, but finally found a suitable solution with the fitting of a muzzle brake design from the older AMX-13 light tank.[2]

The Ivory Coast was the first export customer, ordering five Sagaies to replace its outdated AMX-13 light tanks. At this time period, the French Army was organising the Fast Deployment Force (FDF) for overseas military missions. Mainly in Africa or the Middle East. The main core of the FDF would be French Army’s 9th Marine Infantry Division and the French Army’s 11th Parachute Division.[4] To enable the new FDF to be “more muscular” a new unit was activated, the 31st Heavy Half Brigade (31 DBL) of two regiments. One regiment was to be armed with armoured vehicle’s mounting the HOT wire guided missile and the other a cannon armed light armoured vehicle that could provide both reconnaissance and a limited tank killing role.

The French Army had at first planned on equipping the later regiment with the AMX-10RC, but were told that this vehicle was not suitable due to weight and size for transport by the French Air Force Transall C-160 or its allies Hercules C-130 aircraft. In addition most of the bridges in Africa had only a 6 to 8 ton load bearing ability. So instead of the larger AMX-10RC, which was already in service with the French Army, the French Army Staff took the surprise step in December 1980 of ordering the Panhard ERC 90 F4 Sagaie for the future FDF.[2] And to date the Sagaie has proved very useful for the French Army in its African bases and even in urban conditions during the Siege of Sarajevo. The last known combat use of the Sagaie was with French Forces stationed in the Ivory Coast on a peace keeping mission, between the two rival factions. In 1982 the ERC 90 F1 Lynxs of Argentina Marines saw combat in the Falkland Islands in the defence of Port Stanley.

Shortly after the ERC 90 F1 Lynx had been built for export, Panhard recognised the need for a cost effective light armoured vehicle that could defeat more modern main battle tanks (MBT), like the Russian T-72 which was being exported to many nations. They developed a turret in which they mounted the long barrel F4 90 mm smooth bore cannon developed by the French-government defence firm GIAT and designated the vehicle the ERC 90 F4 Sagaie. Unlike the Lynx version which could only fire medium velocity HEAT rounds in the anti-tank role, which lacked the penetration to defeat the more modern MBTs, the Sagaie could fire armour piercing fin stabilised discard sabot rounds (APFS-DS) at a much higher velocity than the Lynx’s F1 90 cannon and which at 2000 meters GIAT and Panhard both claimed would enable the Sagaie to defeat the heavy armour threat of the 1980s. For a while, GIAT engineers, were vexed with finding a suitable muzzle brake for the Sagaie which would not interferer with the firing of APFS-DS rounds, but finally found a suitable solution with the fitting of a muzzle brake design from the older AMX-13 light tank.[2]

The Ivory Coast was the first export customer, ordering five Sagaies to replace its outdated AMX-13 light tanks. At this time period, the French Army was organising the Fast Deployment Force (FDF) for overseas military missions. Mainly in Africa or the Middle East. The main core of the FDF would be French Army’s 9th Marine Infantry Division and the French Army’s 11th Parachute Division.[4] To enable the new FDF to be “more muscular” a new unit was activated, the 31st Heavy Half Brigade (31 DBL) of two regiments. One regiment was to be armed with armoured vehicle’s mounting the HOT wire guided missile and the other a cannon armed light armoured vehicle that could provide both reconnaissance and a limited tank killing role.

The French Army had at first planned on equipping the later regiment with the AMX-10RC, but were told that this vehicle was not suitable due to weight and size for transport by the French Air Force Transall C-160 or its allies Hercules C-130 aircraft. In addition most of the bridges in Africa had only a 6 to 8 ton load bearing ability. So instead of the larger AMX-10RC, which was already in service with the French Army, the French Army Staff took the surprise step in December 1980 of ordering the Panhard ERC 90 F4 Sagaie for the future FDF.[2] And to date the Sagaie has proved very useful for the French Army in its African bases and even in urban conditions during the Siege of Sarajevo. The last known combat use of the Sagaie was with French Forces stationed in the Ivory Coast on a peace keeping mission, between the two rival factions. In 1982 the ERC 90 F1 Lynxs of Argentina Marines saw combat in the Falkland Islands in the defence of Port Stanley.

Panhard VCR

The Panhard VCR (Véhicule de Combat à Roues, French for Wheeled Combat Vehicle) is a light armored personnel carrier (APC) designed by Panhard for the export market and later used by several countries. After Iraq ordered French turrets in September 1974 capable of launching antitank guided missiles (ATGM), the Panhard VCR was developed at the request of the Iraqis for vehicles with which to mate these ATGM-launcher turrets.[1] This resulted in the largest order of VCR’s, 100, for Iraq.

The VCR is a 6×6 wheeled APC designed in the late 1970s and is based on the earlier 4×4 M-3 APC which had been a huge success for Panhard on the export market, with over 1200 built. Production of the VCR began in 1979. The center pair of wheels can be raised when the vehicle is operated on roads (when down all six wheels drive). The engine is located in the front to the right, with the driver in the front-center of the vehicle. The VCR has 8 mm of steel armor on all sides except the front which has 12 mm. This gives protection against 12.7 mm AP rounds in the front and against 7.62 mm AP rounds on all other sides.[3]

The basic VCR is the APC version, the VCR/TT (Transport de Troupes), designed such that various weapons can be mated with the basic vehicle in a series of variants. The basic weapons option was either a 7.62mm light machine gun or a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun, on a ring mount located on the left-front roof. The VCR can also be fitted with a ring mount with a one man armored turret with a 7.62 mm machine gun or a one man armored powered turret mounting a 20-mm automatic cannon located at the front-center of the vehicle roof. One option that led to the first large export order from Iraq for a hundred VCR vehicles was a tank-destroyer version of the VCR/TT fitted with an antitank missile turret for launching the HOT wire guided ATGM (antitank guided missile). The ATGM variant was known as the VCR/TH (Tourelle HOT). The VCR/TH mounts four HOT missiles on the turret ready to fire with ten reloads inside the vehicle. There was a less expensive version of the VCR/TH offered that mounted the MCT copula which fires the shorter range MILAN antitank missile, but there were no orders for this version. Besides the three crew, the basic VCR/TT can transport nine infantrymen.

Troop Carrier, doucedeuce-and-a-half wanna-be

I don’t know anything about this. 🙁

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here