100 VAB Mk3 armored personnel carriers and equal number of Renault Sherpa light tactical vehicles that were originally ordered for the Lebanese Armed Forces as part of the canceled Saudi $3 billion aid package will be transferred to the Saudi Armed Forces.
With a topspeed of 110km/h, the Sherpa is a tactical and light 4×4 armored vehicle designed to provide light forces and infantry troops with mobility. The Sherpa is fully air transportable and ready for being up-armored with ballistic and mine kits. The Sherpa Light has already been adopted by NATO, France and other countries.
The VAB MK3 offers a generous ballistic protection of up to NATO level 4 at 20 tonnes of weight. (Stanag 4569) and mine / IED protection up to a MRAP level.
There are several variants of the VAB Mk3 platform: armored personnel carrier, infantry combat vehicle, ambulance, ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance and targeting), 120 mm mortar carrier, and command post.
The armored personnel carrier variant is armed with a 12.7mm machine gun mounted on a manual or remote-controlled weapon system.
In 2013, Saudi Arabia pledged an aid package for the Lebanese army in what was described as the largest grant ever in the country’s armed forces history. However, the announcement stood short of implementation, and was later canceled as political tensions rose between the Gulf countries and the Lebanese Shiite faction, Hezbollah.