On 5-8 January 2015, RENAULT TRUCKS Defense, together with the French Army technical unit (STAT) and the end users, approved the loading of all possible Engineer corps kits on this VAB Ultima Génie prototype. The French Army Engineers School seized this opportunity to give all its trainee officers and non-commissioned officers a presentation of their future vehicle.
The VAB Ultima Génie, derived from the VAB (front line armored vehicle) family, features the latest technological advances in anti-ballistic, anti-blast and IED protection and localizing of hostile fire, to provide a fast, effective response capability. This vehicle is produced by RENAULT TRUCKS Defense in the Limoges factory, from conventional VABs.
These vehicles are completely rebuilt through an industrial process that may involve several contracts.
It was designed in cooperation with the French defense procurement agency (DGA) and the STAT to provide front line Engineers units with the same support capabilities as the infantry units with which they cooperate closely. It will provide crews with the capabilities that are now required for the new high-risk operations the French Army is facing. It will allow engineers to carry out all types of missions through its basic kit carrying ability, plus one of the six specific kits (urban area support, mobility support, emergency deployment support, mine clearance and pollution control, countermobility and EOD).
The contract for this latest tranche of 60 VAB Ultima engineering vehicles was awarded on 27 June 2014 and is the result of a very fast and cooperative contractual process carried out with the DGA and STAT following the success of previous tranches of VAB Ultima Infanterie vehicles signed in 2009. Production is to begin in February with delivery to the French Army due to take place between the summer of 2015 and the spring of 2016. 290 VAB Ultima vehicles will eventually be in service with the French land forces.