Why The CRAB Armored Buggy Could Be the Tank of the Future

This agile war machine deflects bomb blasts and packs plenty of firepower.
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Photo: Panhard

Photo: Panhard

Future troops will be able to navigate the battlefield in a vehicle with protected survival cell, a gun turret on top for offensive capability, and the ability to creep sideways around obstacles.

French military truck builder Panhard (a one-time carmaker that has since specialized into a niche) proposes the CRAB (Combat Reconnaissance Armored Buggy), a machine to carry three soldiers while protecting them from machine gun fire, mines and improvised explosive devices.

Photo: Panhard

Photo: Panhard

The company predicts its top speed will be 68 mph and that it will have a driving range of 500 miles. No specific engine has been chosen yet, though Panhard describes the CRAB's powerplant as "very powerful."

Photo: Panhard

Photo: Panhard

It has an integrated electric motor that will permit some all-electric driving for stealthy silent motoring when needed. It even has a high-speed reverse gear and 360-degree cameras for maximum get-us-out-of-here potential.

Photo: Panhard

Photo: Panhard

The CRAB is all-wheel drive and has four-wheel steering that reduces its turning radius to 33 feet. While that's not impressive for a car, it is for an armored vehicle that weighs 16,000 to 20,000 pounds.

No word yet on which nation's army might unleash the CRAB, but we want to be first in line for a test drive.

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