During the Gabonese independence day military parade which held on 17 August, the country’s elite Republican Guard (GR) paraded several Chinese-made Norinco VN1 8×8 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) for the first time.
Local sources disclosed that the Norinco VN1 8×8 infantry fighting vehicles are part of the Scouting, Reconnaissance, and Combat Squadron of the GR’s Armoured Intervention Group.
The Norinco VN1 8×8 infantry fighting vehicles is an export variant of the ZBL-09 (also called ZBD-09) 8×8 armoured vehicle personnel carrier. Although, the IFV variant of the Gabonese VN1 is an 8×8 amphibious wheeled armored vehicle fitted with a two-man turret armed with one 30mm cannon and one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.
Also, the troop’s compartment at the rear can accommodate 11 infantrymen. The VN1 can run at a maximum road speed of 100 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 800 km. It can climb a 30° slope, cross a 1.8m trench and climb over a 0.55 m vertical obstacle.
During the parade, several Panhard VBL light-armored vehicles, Arquus Bastion armored personnel carriers, and a pair of Nexter Aravis APCs from the Armoured Intervention Group’s Support and Combat Squadron also featured in the parade.