Gabonese Military displays Nexter Aravis MRAP

On December 2015, five Nexter ARAVIS  Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles (MRAPs) were delivered to the Gabonese army by the French Defense Company Nexter Systems.

Two Gabonese Military Aravis MRAPs are armed with ARX 20 remotely operated weapon stations were seen conducting counter-coup operations in Libreville on 7 January.

The Nexter Aravis MRAPs were being operated by the Gabonese Republican Guard (GR), an elite component of the Gabonese Armed Forces primarily tasked with protecting the country’s President.

Soldiers and vehicles – including an Aravis in the background – from the Republican Guard are seen outside the Radio Télévision Gabonaise building in Libreville on 7 January. Source: Steve Jordan/AFP/Getty Images

Their last known deployment was in the Central African Republic (CAR) as part of the United Nation’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission (MINUSCA).

The version delivered to the Gabonese army is fitted with a Nexter remotely operated ARX20 turret with a M621 20×102 mm cannon firing at a rate of 750 rounds per minute. The 270 kg turret has a day/night camera and can be operated and fired on the move, and is able to engage targets to a maximum range 2,000 metres.

The vehicle is also fitted with PG-Guard RPG slat armour protection which provides effective protection against several (RPG) anti-tank rocket types.

The Aravis features Stanag 4569 Level 4 ballistic protection able to defeat 14.5 mm threats, Level 4 mine protection able to defeat 10 kg mines under the belly and wheels and all-round Level 4 protection against 155 mm artillery splinters. The Aravis has been tested to withstand the detonation of 50 kg of TNT at a distance of five metres.

Ekene Lionel

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