The French Panhard M3 APC

The Automitrailleusse Legere, aka the Panhard AML was developed and manufactured by French firm Panhard to meet the requirements of the French Army for an indigenous 4×4 Scout Car. Riding on the success of the AML, Panhard developed as a private venture for the export market the M3 Armoured Personnel Carrier.

The French Panhard M3 APC

Both the AML and M3 share 95% commonality in their parts. The first M3 prototype was completed in 1969 and production started in 1971, since then over 1200 have been built. Production has now ceased.


Driver sits in the front centre and has 3 vision periscopes. Engine is behind him and rear space is used for  variants equipment.


M3 VTT: The VTT (Véhicule Transport de Troupes), is the main armoured personnel carrier variant. Carries 10 troops.

M3 VDA anti-aircraft vehicle: The VDA (Véhicule de Défense Antiaérienne) is a modified M3 chassis fitted with a turret armed with twin 20 mm cannon and a day sight, with the option of an RA 20 series radar on the turret rear. One M3 VDA with the radar can control two other systems without the radar.

M3 VAT repair vehicle: The VAT has a crew of five (commander, driver and three mechanics) and equipment fitted includes a pulley block with struts and tackle, cutting equipment, a generator, benches, a vice, towbars, tow cables and a complete range of tools.

M3 VPC command vehicle: The VCP has additional communications equipment, two additional batteries and map tables. Its basic crew consists of commander, assistant commander, driver and two radio operators plus command staff.

M3 VLA engineer vehicle: The VLA is fitted with a removable hydraulically-operated dozer blade at the front of the hull and has a crew of six consisting of commander/gunner, driver, pioneer section commander and three pioneers.

M3 internal security vehicle: Is fitted with a front-mounted obstacle clearing blade and other equipment for use in the internal security role.

M3 VTS ambulance: The VTS has a crew of three (driver and two orderlies) and can carry four stretcher patients, six sitting wounded or two stretcher patients and three sitting wounded. It is unarmed and has a large single-piece door in the rear of the hull.

M3 VSB radar: The VSB is fitted with a variety of radar systems such as the RASIT battlefield surveillance radar RA-20S air surveillance radar. The latter is used with the M3 VDA twin 20 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun system when this is not equipped with its own individual radar.

M3 VPM: Turret with breach loaded 81 mm mortar.

M3 VTT 60 B: Armed with 60 mm Hotchkiss-Brandt CM 60 A1 smooth bore breach loaded mortar.


Crew: Driver & Commander
Dimensions: Length 4.45m / Width 2.4m / Height 2.48m
Engine: Panhard Model 4 HD air-cooled 90hp petrol
Top road speed: 90mk/h (water 4km/h)
Max road range: 600km
Fording: Amphibious
Weight: 6.1 tonne (combat)
Protection: Steel, no NBC protection

Buffalo APC

Replaced original M3 production in 1986. Has additional storage and new Peugeot XD 3T 96hp diesel engine. This vehicle is in service with – Benin, Colombia and Rwanda.


Algeria, Bahrain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burkina, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo,  Gabon, Ireland, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Togo, United Arab Emirates.