- france's scarabée armored car can lock its front and rear axles to move sideways across a battlefield.
- the vehicle is designed to serve as an air-droppable scout car, collecting battlefield intel.
- scarabée also features a hybrid electric drive system that reduces its infrared signature.
france’s arquus has released new details on its scarabée light armored vehicle. the car, designed to act as a scout on the battlefield, can get itself out of tight spots by locking its front and rear axles, allowing it to move diagonally like a crab.
this ability lets the vehicle move forward to an observation position without exposing its flanks or rear, where armor is the lightest. the scarabée also has a tight turning radius of just 36 feet, according to defense news.
the eight-ton scarabée carries a crew of one driver and three passengers and features a 4x4 wheel layout. it can climb a 60-degree gradient, cross a 2.9-foot-wide ditch, and ford water obstacles almost three feet deep. the vehicle can be embarked in a c-130j super hercules, an a-400m atlas transport, or a larger military transport aircraft.
arquus, originally renault trucks defense, built the scarabée as the first hybrid electric drive military vehicle in france, nato, and perhaps even the world. the vehicle is powered by both a v-6 engine providing 300 horsepower and an electric motor with a 70-kilowatt output. while these features provide extra electricity to power sensors and weapons, they also give the scarabée more low-key capabilities.
scarabée is designed to complete its mission using stealth—but not the radar kind. the low-slung vehicle can also run off a built-in electric motor. this reduces the vehicle’s acoustic and infrared signatures, making it quieter and difficult to pick up with imaging infrared sensors.
while arquus is marketing the scarabée unarmed, future buyers will almost certainly load it up with weapons and sensors, like the u.s. army’s common remotely operated weapons station (crows) or mast-mounted electro-optical sensors and radar. an image on arquus's website seems to depict scarabée with a 30-millimeter chain gun, such as the m320lf.
traditionally, reconnaissance and scouting teams on the battlefield have been divided into two camps: "fighting reconnaissance," made up of heavily armed teams capable of probing enemy defenses, and "sneak and peek reconnaissance," which quietly monitors enemy forces. the scarabée, with its infrared masking capability and low acoustic signature, is firmly in the “sneak and peek” category.