Sabre special forces vehicle is manufactured by Arquus. Image courtesy of MBDA.
The vehicle has a maximum speed of 110km/h. Image courtesy of ARQUUS.
The special forces vehicle is based on the Sherpa light tactical vehicle. Image courtesy of ARQUUS.

Sabre is a light tactical vehicle manufactured by French land defence systems producer Arquus to meet the requirements of special forces. It is a member of Arquus’ special forces and counter terrorism vehicles range which also includes Areg, Torpedo and Patsas.

The armoured vehicle is designed to support battlespace reconnaissance, rapid assault and fire support missions.

The optimal combination of armament, autonomy, payload, communication systems and robustness makes it an ideal platform for special forces.

The 4×4 vehicle was exhibited at the Special Forces Operations Equipment Exhibition held in Bordeaux, France, in April 2019. It is an export variant of the Heavy Vehicle for Special Forces (VLFS) that is currently operational with the French Special Forces.

Arquus Sabre special forces vehicle design and features

The Arquus Sabre vehicle is based on the design of Sherpa light tactical vehicle. The stealthy and extremely mobile platform can perform operations behind the enemy lines and deliver high mobility in extreme conditions.

The large circular diameter of the ring mount in the centre of the vehicle supports the installation of all types of weaponry. It can also be fitted with a range of secondary weapons.

The multi-echelon and joint combat vehicle is equipped with various command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems.

The Sabre special forces vehicle is equipped with a range of accessories including a self-recovery winch in front of the hull, one spare wheel on the right side, storage boxes on its left side, as well as rigid metal plates for recovery from sand and mud.

The vehicle has a length of 5.5m, width of 2.5m, height of 2.2m and gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 11t. It has two seats at the front, gunner’s position in the middle and two seats at the rear to house five crew members.


The Sabre special forces vehicle is equipped with three 7.62mm light machine guns, one 12.7mm machine gun on ring mount and anti-tank missiles. It can also be fitted with remote-controlled weapon systems.

MBDA performed the first firing of a medium-range missile (MMP) from Sabre vehicle at the Canjuers military camp in the south of France, in December 2020. It is a part of a firing campaign executed with the support of the French Army and the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA – French Procurement Agency).

The firing was carried out against a tank which was positioned 3,500m away by using lock-on-before-launch mode, along with rapid switchover to fire-and-forget mode, making the vehicle fully mobile after firing.

The MMP system demonstrated accuracy of target acquisition and guidance system without the need of an operator and achieved a direct hit. The vehicle is also capable of firing multiple engagements against fixed or mobile targets while on the move.

Arquus Sabre self-protection

The armoured vehicle offers ballistic protection according to CEN 1063 and STANAG 4569 standards. Its modular and scalable armour also protects the crew from mine and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks.

Engine and mobility

The Arquus Sabre tactical vehicle is powered by a 265hp engine coupled to an automatic gearbox. The power-plant allows the vehicle to move at a speed of 110km/h. The armoured vehicle has a range of 1,400km and can negotiate gradient and side slopes of 60% and 40% respectively.

The special forces vehicle can cross a trench of 0.9m wide and vertical obstacle of 0.4m high, and can ford a maximum depth of 1m. It can be transported by both A400M and C-130 military transport aircraft.