VERSAILLES, France, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- French forces operating in Afghanistan have been supplied Slate acoustic sniper localization systems for integration with VAB armored personnel carriers.
Renault Trucks Defense reports it supplied 80 Slate kits to the French defense procurement agency DGA in late November after receiving an urgent operational requirement order from the agency.
The system is features an acoustic antenna for detecting gunfire -- produced by a 01dB-Metravib.
The Metravib is connected to the TOP 12.7 (Protector M151) remote control weapon system on the armored vehicle. The TOP is made by7 Kongsberg of Norway.
Renault said that when the unit detects a gunshot, crew of the VAB can automatically cue the vehicle's gun turret in the direction of where the gunshot originated and return fire.
Slate also provides vehicle crew with information on whether the gunshot came from a small- or medium-caliber weapon and stores the geographical information in a memory system.
The storage allows crew to engage an attacker with precision fire from the turret-mounted machine gun or grenade launcher even after the vehicle has changed position.
Renault said the Slate system could be connected to information and command systems for sharing of tactical information.
Renault delivered 80 of the systems to French forces.
Kongsberg Protech Systems, maker of the remote-controlled weapons system on the French army vehicles, also provides a variety of high-tech systems to militaries around the world for enhanced situational awareness and protection. Its Protector remote weapons station is currently used by 17 countries.
Renault Trucks Defense designs and manufactures a range of armored vehicles. The French army has more than 4,000 of its VABs in operation.
The VAB is a fully amphibious 4x4 or 4x6 armored personnel carrier or scout car. An air defense variant can be equipped with Mistral missiles. Depending on the variant, the vehicle can carry as many as 10 soldiers in addition to two crew members.
The VAB is 19.6 feet long, 8 feet wide and 6.7 feet high. It's powered by a six-cylinder, in-line water-cooled engine and has a maximum speed of about 57 mph.