CEFA EFA

     Notes: When you first look at the EFA, it looks like some sort of armored bus.  This French bridging vehicle is similar in concept to the older DCAN PAA (c.f.).  The EFA is used by France; the United Emirates uses a version with a more powerful engine called EFA X1. The EFA was designed to replace the Gillois system previously used by the French Army; this was more of a pontoon-bridge system than a mobile ferry/pontoon/bridge that the EFA is.  The EFA was selected in 1987 over a competing DCAN design, and the first EFAs were delivered in 1992.

     It is a flat, boxlike vehicle that may be used as a floating bridge, or by the vehicle resting on the bottom of the body of water. It may also be used as a ferry.  The EFA may carry or support 70 tons (as a bridge) or 90 tons (as a ferry, in water only), and its bridge may span 23.5 meters.  It may be used in rivers with currents of up to 3 meters per second.  The unit is driven in water by water jets, unless the water is shallow enough that the EFA can be driven on the floor of the body of the water.  Another way the EFA can be deployed is to anchor them to the bed and use them as the basis for pontoon bridges. After going into the water, the ends of the vehicle fold down to form ramps, and a potential ferry surface of 38x4 meters. When bridging, air bladders are charged to provide floats; there are two large floats on each side. (Needless to say, the EFA has four integral heavy-duty air compressors.) One EFA may bridge a span of 23.6 meters. Ramps are dropped on either end to allow embarkation of vehicles and troops. It takes six minutes to go from ferry to traveling configuration and vice versa.  Though the EFA does have two anchors, it is not meant for swiftly-flowing water.  The EFA can make up to 10-12 crossings per hour of a river or lake 100 meters wide. Several EFAs can be linked together to form a long bridge if required; up to six EFAs may be linked in such a manner.

     The crew is in the front cab of the vehicle, and operate their ferry by the use of CCTVs and remote linkages.  There is a driver, commander, and two bridge operators; there are large ballistic windows on the front and sides and doors on either side of the cab.  There are no defenses other than its own minimal armor and the crews' small arms.  The 730-horsepower Baudouin turbocharged engine gives it decent power, as the EFA is as heavy as some tanks. The EFA is climate-controlled and has NBC Overpressure, and has a bilge pump. The vehicle has central tire pressure control and all-wheel steering. Construction is primarily of aluminum, with all components sealed against water and pressure. UAE EFA X1s are powered by a German MTU diesel, with a capacity of 760 horsepower.

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

EFA

$364,808

D, A

600 kg

43 tons

4

25

Headlights

Shielded

EFA X1

$365,002

D, A

600 kg

43.05 tons

4

25

Headlights

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config*

Susp

Armor

EFA

194/47

53/13/6

825

263

CiH

W(2)

TF4  TS4  TR4  HF5  HS5  HR5

EFA X1

200/49

56/14/8

825

275

CiH

W(2)

TF4  TS4  TR4  HF5  HS5  HR5

*The “turret” for this vehicle are the flotation gear, air compressors, and ramps.  No personnel hits are possible, and considered misses. 

 

DCAN PAA

     Notes:  The DCAN PAA is a self-propelled bridging vehicle designed by France specifically for that purpose instead being modified from an existing vehicle. It is one of the predecessors of the EFA above. They were replaced in production by the CEFA EFA in the late 1990s, but continue in service in the French Army.  No one else uses the PAA.

     The PAA is divided into three watertight sections, separated by bulkheads.  The front is the crew compartment with the driver and commander/bridge operator.  He works with four day/night CCTVs which are rotatable. The compartment has air conditioning and heating as well as NBC Overpressure. The engine is in the center for balance purposes; it has an electric generator which engages as soon as the water in the compartment reaches a certain level. The rear compartment contains the fuel tanks, which also act as ballast.

     The driver is on the left and the commander/bridge operator is on the right. The driver has conventional controls and an automatic transmission. The vehicle’s bridging system operates similar to the EFA, above. The bridge/ferry area is 3.05 meters wide, but can be increased to 3.55 meters by use of folding panels. The PAA can span by itself a width of 20.63 meters.  Up to two may work together to span or ferry a large gap, up to 40 meters.

     The PAA consists of a boxlike watertight hull of light alloy construction with a folding four-section bridge on top.  The operator of the bridge can choose to leave the vehicle in place under the bridge, or unfold the bridge and withdraw.  The bridge can cross a gap 22.4 meters wide, and supports 40 tons of vehicles traveling at full speed, or 45 tons of vehicles traveling at half speed.  Two of these vehicles can be combined to cross a gap 40 meters wide.  The vehicle essentially bottoms itself out, providing a starting step to the vehicles above.  This is useful for waters or trenches with steep, wide sides.  The wheels do not support the PAA in this case -- hard shoes extend instead.  The engine is a Deutz Diesel 300-horsepower engine, which leads to one reason it is being replaced -- it's slow cross-country speed and crossing speed.

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

$37,314

D, A

500 kg

34.5 tons

2

9

Headlights

Shielded

 

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config*

Susp

Armor

127/31

35/9/1

695

103

CiH

W(2)

TF4  TS4  TR4  HF4  HS4  HR4

*The “turret” for this vehicle are the flotation gear, air compressors, and ramps.  No personnel hits are possible, and considered misses. 

 

Renault VAB ECH

     Notes:  This French vehicle is the repair vehicle variant of the 6x6 VAB armored personnel carrier.  France, Central African Republic, Cyprus, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Mauritius, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates use the VAB ECH.

     In this role, the VAB is fitted with 6-ton capacity crane and a front-mounted 7-ton capacity winch that has 60 meters of cable.  The cargo compartment is large and open inside (without the central post of the standard VAB), to better carry bulky equipment.  There are two large roof hatches on the rear deck, a commander's hatch on the right side of the front deck, and a driver's hatch on the left of the front deck.  On each side, there are three windows with an armored shutter; however, these windows do not include firing ports.  Other equipment included with the vehicle is: a welding kit, a 5 kW generator, machinist tools, a hand drill, a manual hoist, a workbench, vises, and a full tool kit.  A tent can be erected at the rear to give more workspace, and another one can be erected over the rear compartment.  The VAB ECH also typically carries a 5-meter ladder and two 5-meter bridging sections.  A small computer with a repair and recovery database and small parts and equipment are carried in myriad small and large drawers, as well as boxes and bins and under-seat compartments.  The VAB ECH also has a 40-liter drinking water tank, used for both drinking and heating rations.

     Three armament options are available for the VAB ECH: a cupola with a pintle-mounted weapon, a turret with a light machinegun, and a turret with a heavy machinegun.  Most of the vehicle is given over to storage of tools and parts; there is only a narrow tunnel from the driver's and commander's positions and the right-side door.  The other crewmembers have just enough space to sit down, and exit through roof hatches. Most have been upgraded with GPS and a BMS (FINDERS).

Vehicle

Price

Fuel Type

Load

Veh Wt

Crew

Mnt

Night Vision

Radiological

VAB ECH VTT

$919,716

D, A

2 tons

14 tons

4

13

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

VAB ECH VMO

$1,054,552

D, A

2 tons

14.3 tons

4

13

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

VAB ECH VII

$1,079,090

D, A

2 tons

14.6 tons

4

13

Passive IR (D)

Shielded

 

Vehicle

Tr Mov

Com Mov

Fuel Cap

Fuel Cons

Config

Susp

Armor

VAB ECH

138/70

39/19/7

310

76

Stnd

W(3)

HF6  HS4  HR3

VAB ECH VMO

137/77

38/19/7

310

78

CiH

W(3)

TF7  TS4  TR4  HF6  HS5  HR5

VAB ECH VII

134/68

38/19/7

310

80

CiH

W(3)

TF7  TS4  TR4  HF6  HS5  HR5

 

Vehicle

Fire Control

Stabilization

Armament

Ammunition

VAB ECH VTT

None

None

AAT-F1

1500x7.62mm

VAB ECH VMO

+1

Basic

AAT-F1

2000x7.62mm

VAB ECH VII

+1

Basic

M-2HB

1500x.50