Mystery Iraqi armored vehicle

A reader pointed me to this Fox News video (“Ready to Fight”) about training the new Iraqi army. He wonders what the 6×6 APC in the background is. I checked out the video and saw the 6×6. Here are a couple of screen shots showing both sides:


I don’t know what this is, though I wonder if it might not be some sort of French-built Panhard VCR. Iraq had some of these, and the way the center wheel appears to be raised (see the pic of the left side) made me look into some French vehicles.

Here’s a couple shots:

  panhardvcr2.jpg’s Center for Military History has this drawing:


Anyone have a better guess?


  1. Yeah, it’s a VCR. Jane’s says the Iraqis had several of them before the war in the 6×6 configuration. Looks like the side windows had the shutters removed and bullet resistant glass installed. Market value was probably $5,000 before it probably had $200,000 worth of parts and western contractor labor installed. Why are we bothering to fix up junk like this? The Iraqis deserve better. Let’s just break out a couple of thousand M113s in storage to augument the Swiss/UAE ones and standardize on one wheeled vehicle that we can provide a mountain of spare parts for. Oh, that’s right. There’s no money in that.

  2. I mean, standardize on one light armored vehicle, not wheeled one. I’m well aware the M113 is tracked. Also be on the lookout for a odd variety of British light armored vehicles that were donated by Jordan. Can’t remember what it was, but the Jordanians unloaded a couple of hundred British made AFVs. They’re easy to find, just follow the trail of leaking oil.

  3. The military has used a few Cougars, built by Force Protection, Inc. in SC in Iraq. It’s a similar vehicle, but doesn’t look exactly like the one you captured. See photos of it at It does look like FP, Inc. did a little design borrowing, at least. I read somewhere a contract for more was cancelled when FP, Inc. refused to give Uncle Sam one for destructive IED testing. A-C-E

  4. One of the reasons, I think, for using such a variety of vehicles to to figure out which ones work best, along with looking at which features and combinations of features, do the best job of providing protection while still allowing good mobility, reasonable load carrying capability, firepower, etc.

  5. EBA: My first guess had been a 6×6 Cougar, but the Cougar doesn’t have a sloping upper hull and the wheel spacing is wrong. It certainly isn’t a Buffalo.

  6. Cougar was the first thing I thought of when I saw it, but it’s not one. I realize that there are different models and versions of the Cougar, but unless someone can find any pictures of a Cougar with a sloped upper hull, short angled front end, and wheels spaced like the wheels are spaced in the screen shots, it sure doesn’t look like any Cougar I’ve ever seen or heard of. Incidentally, the upper hull, the front end, and the wheel spacing (including how the middle wheels are slightly raised) matches the pictures of the VCR exactly.

  7. Yeah, it’s all about money. PERPETUAL WAR…. *** We had 14,655 M113s on the Active Inventory. *** The poor bastards couldn’t even get the 180 M113s out of Switzerland. IDF has 3,000 plus the Achzarits. *** Stomping militia ain’t rocket science. Copy IDF stomping the Palis. *** RummyWorld the Video Game gets the most out of ‘Support the Troops.’ Put the troops in jeeps and sell your soul to the very Devil. *** Meanwhile the Saudi Arabian Royal Family are still pumping millions to the Bush’s private investment shell, the Carleton Group. *** We need to run Ike Skelton for President. Seriously.

  8. A company with which I am associated offered the govt in Iraq hundreds of as new or as new reconditioned APC’s with no interest. They were: BTR 60,70, and 80’s BMP-1’s Prices were great and they’re just what the new Iraqi security forces need, but I guess Politics takes priority over need.

  9. Jimdandy: Thanks for the heads up on that. Those are definitely the same vehicles. Unfortunately, they do not appear to be M3s. All Panhard M3s are, to my knowledge supported by a quick internet search, 4x4s. I still think they’re Panhard VCRs.

  10. It is a Panhard VCR, IIRC donated to the New Iraqi Army by the UAE, hence the ‘custom’ armored windows.

  11. These indeed are Panhards of the 1st Iraqi Division. I was their adviser in 2005 and 2006. We managed to get some surplus armored cupolas which included a mount for the PKM machine gun which appears to be what you see in the photo. The welding and fitting was done by a crew of South African maintenance workers.