BTR Panhard Defense M3 equipped with a turret armed 7,62-mm machine gun
The M3 armored personnel carrier was created by the French company Panhard Defense, which produced the first prototype in the 1969 year. The prototype armored personnel carrier had a square side with one door on each side and twin doors in the stern. It was assumed that each door will have one round embrasure. A single-seat turret from Nexter Systems (formerly Giat Industries) was manually mounted on the roof of the hull, armed with an 7,62-mm machine gun.
The first production vehicle with a converted hull and three hatches on each side of the troop compartment was made in 1971 year. The components of the chassis and power unit of the M3 armored vehicle on the 95 percent are identical to the components of the AML series lightweight armored car, which were made 4800 pieces. The M3 BTR was subsequently replaced in production by the Buffalo model. Currently Panhard Defense is not engaged in marketing BTR Buffalo.
The total number of Buffalo and M3 armored personnel carriers manufactured is 1222 vehicles, all of which were intended for export.
Bosnia and Herzegovina accepted the delivery of a large number of vehicles in the variants of VAT, VTS and VPC from one of the operators of these vehicles, rather than directly from Panhard Defense. According to some information, these machines were supplied by one of the countries of the Middle East.
The M3 armored personnel carrier is in service with many countries, mainly African, but the largest buyers are Saudi Arabia (150 machines), United Arab Emirates (240) and Bahrain (110).
The body of the Panhard Defense M3 armored personnel carrier is all-welded, made of armored steel. The driver, located in the front of the car, has a one-piece hatch that opens to the right. Three day periscopes are built into it, the central one can be replaced by a periscope with increased image brightness for driving at night.
The Panhard Defense Model 4 HD gasoline engine is installed directly behind the driver, air intake louvers are installed above and behind it; On each side of the roof there are air outlets and two exhaust pipes running along the roof of the hull.
Transversely located gearbox housing contains two gears with a leading bevel gear. The reduction gear consists of two lower gears, the top one and one rear for driving over rough terrain. The boost gearbox has three low gears and one high gear boost. When the reduction gear is engaged directly, the four gear ratios of the reduction gear correspond to the four upper range transmissions (6-I, 5-I, 4-I and 3-I).
Torque is transmitted from the main gearbox to the two side boxes, which transmit power to the front wheels via the pinion gear, and to the rear wheels through the drive shafts running along and inside the case.
Spherical differentials in the gearbox and in each rear transfer case prevent slipping (skid) wheels. The suspension of each wheel consists of coil springs and hydropneumatic shock absorbers associated with the transverse arms of the suspension of each wheel. Anti-puncture tubes from Hutchinson are inserted into the wheels.
The M3 armored personnel carrier has four doors, one on each side and two aft. Aft doors have a round fire embrasure. On each side there are three hatches, reclining in the upper position, in which they can stop. When used as an armored personnel carrier, in addition to two crew members, 10 people or a 1360 kg cargo are placed in the vehicle.
On the roof there are two round hatches, one behind the engine compartment and the second in the rear. At the rear hatch, the one-piece hatch opens forward; As a rule, the hatch is equipped with a STR Nexter faceplate with an 7,62-mm machine gun.
M3 / VDA anti-aircraft gun with twin guns based on M3 armored personnel carrier (bottom photo taken in Sudan)
Various weapons can be installed on the machine, as a rule, it is 7,62-mm or 12,7-mm machine gun M2 HB, but some users wish to install a turret armed with an 20-mm gun.
The basic M3 version is floating, no training is required. In the water is driven by the rotation of its wheels. Turning on the water is carried out, as on the ground, by turning the front wheels. Optional equipment includes air conditioning and smoke grenade launchers.
M3 / VDA anti-aircraft gun
VDA (Traffic de Defense Antiaerienne) was developed especially for the overseas market by Panhard (responsible for the chassis) and Thales. In essence, it represents a combination of a modified M3 4x4 chassis, on which a Thales turret is mounted, armed with a paired 20-mm installation and a day sight with an optional RA 20 radar at the rear of the turret. One installation with a M3A / DA radar can monitor two other systems without a radar.
The first M3A / DA prototype was manufactured in December 1973 of the year, and after testing in April 1975 of the year began production. It is known that the anti-aircraft installation entered service with Côte d'Ivoire (6 units), Niger (10) and the United Arab Emirates (48).
Repair machine M3 / VAT
This model has a crew of five people (commander, driver and three mechanics). Installed equipment includes a polyspast with props and rigging, cutting equipment, a generator, workbenches, a vice, rigid tow hitch, towing cables and a set of tools.
Commander machine M3 / VPC
This option has additional communications equipment, two additional batteries and card tables. The main crew consists of a commander, deputy commander, driver and two radio operators plus a staff group. Armament, as a rule, 7,62-mm machine gun on the machine STB from Nexter Systems.
Engineering machine M3 / VLA
This is essentially a basic M3 BTR with a removable hydraulic dozer blade mounted in the bow. The crew consists of six people: commander / gunner, driver, squadron commander and three sappers.
Internal Security Machine M3 / ICV
This option is equipped with a front blade for clearing obstacles and other means for use in law enforcement tasks.
Sanitary version M3 / VTS
A car with a crew of three (driver and two orderlies) can carry four lying, six sitting wounded or two lying and three sitting. The variant is not armed, it has a large single door in the stern opening to the left. Medical equipment includes oxygen, blood transfusion equipment and a first aid kit.
Radar M3 / VSB
The armored vehicle M3 can also be used for the transport of electronic warfare equipment. The variant under the designation M3A / SB is equipped with various radar stations, for example, a RASIT surveillance radar or a Thales RA-20S surveillance radar. The latter is used with the M3A / DA twin anti-aircraft installation, when it is not equipped with its own radar.
Modernization of the Bayar M3 (4x4) of Saymar
The Israeli company Saymar has completed the development and testing of a modernization kit for the M3 4x4 armored personnel carrier. The original M3 is equipped with a four-cylinder air-cooled gasoline engine Panhard 4HD with an 90 horsepower, coupled with a manual transmission.
Saymar has replaced the outdated engine with a more economical Toyota 2L-T diesel engine with a HP 102 power, which also reduces operating costs and simplifies maintenance.
It also claims higher power density, faster acceleration and increased mobility. The power unit also includes specially designed anchors, leak-proof connections to the oil lines and quick-disconnect electrical connections, all for quick engine replacement in the field.
The modernization of the subsystems includes a manual transmission, a new engine cooling system, a modified electrical system, new disc brakes, a power steering system, a new tower electrical system, an external and internal communication system.
Reinforced transmission features a new damping flywheel, new engine mounts, a new gear ratio and an engine-gearbox adapter.
A new cooling system based on a closed-loop liquid circuit has been installed. The system includes a surge tank, radiator, hydraulic control system and a new fan.
The new electrical components include more reliable cable assemblies, a voltage regulator, a 24 volt generator and 65 amps, a starter on the 24 volts, a new driver dashboard and a new control panel.
This upgrade can be carried out at the user's own facilities with the supply of components by Saymar or the company can perform all the work at its plant. This upgrade kit can be combined with a major overhaul, which will allow you to get a fully updated machine.
Optional equipment for the modernization of the M3 armored vehicle depends on the variant, but includes air conditioning, auxiliary power unit, navigation system, communications equipment, a siren and a spotlight on the roof, a winch, additional lights and other special equipment.
Specifications of the M3 armored personnel carrier
Crew: 2 + 10
Length Overall: 4,45 M
Width, overall: 2,4 m
overall: 2,48 m
Enclosures: 2 m
Ground clearance: 0,35 m
Track: 2,05 m
Wheel base: 2,7 m
standard: 5300 kg
combat: 6100 kg
Configuration: wheel, 4x4
Power density: 14,75 hp / t
Maximum: 90 km / h
back: 5,5 km / h
On the water: 4 km / h
Cruising range: 600 km
Fuel consumption: 0,26 l / km
Fuel tank capacity: 165 liters
Entry angle: 68 °
Departure angle: 50 °
Side slope: 30%
Wall: 0,3 m
Turning radius: 6,55 m
Engine: Panhard Defense Model 4 HD, cylinder 4, gasoline, air cooling, hp 90 at 4700 rpm
Transmission: Manual, 6 / 1
basic: hydraulic, dual circuit
parking: handbrake at the output of the gearbox
Suspension: independent, coil springs and hydropneumatic shock absorbers on trailing arms
Electrical system: 24 volts
Batteries: 2x12 volts
Armament: 7,62-mm machine gun mounted on the roof
Night vision equipment: optional
The system of protection against weapons of mass destruction: no
Booking: armor steel