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Armored Cars: Acmat Bastion

August 25, 2015

French Bastion 4x4 APC

The Bastion is further proof that France is a world leader in armored car manufacturing. Categorized somewhere between a tactical vehicle and an all-purpose truck, the Bastion is available in five variants for military and law enforcement use.

These are the Bastion APC (pictured above), Bastion HM, Bastion PATSAS, Bastion SAN, and Bastion PC. The PATSAS is best described as a French version of the Supacat Jackal, being a modular commando vehicle. The SAN, on the other hand, is an ambulance.

It seems Acmat, the Bastion’s manufacturer and a member of the Renault Trucks Defense Group, intended for the Bastion-series to resonate with foreign customers who need a rugged off-road troop transport. Besides, the French Army has more than enough wheeled vehicles in its colorful motor pool. In May 2018 the defense holdings of Renault was reorganized and named Arquus.

French Bastion 4x4 APC 01

The Bastion was first introduced in 2010, a time when armored cars began rapidly proliferating across Europe and the Middle East. Although the company once called Acmat was known for its successful line of pickup trucks sold in France and beyond, the Bastion was a clear departure from its comfort zone. It also revived an unsuccessful model from the 1980s that had an unwieldy nomenclature of TPK 4.20 VSC. This armored reconnaissance vehicle was given a mine-resistant do-over and thence emerged the Bastion!

With a steel monocoque v-hull to deflect blasts from mines and roadside bombs, the Bastion manages the heft of a generic MRAP without sacrificing mobility. At 16 tons it can be airlifted by plane or helicopter to its area of operations. Acmat made sure the Bastion is acclimatized to Middle Eastern and North African weather since it’s built to operate in high temperatures and carry substantial amounts of water.

The Bastion runs on an unspecified 180 horsepower engine and manages a top speed of 110 kilometers per hour. It can travel 1,000 km on a full tank, most likely diesel.

French Bastion 4x4 APC 02

The interior of the Bastion configured as a mobile command post.

Its protection level is at STANAG III and it has space for eight passengers, with a driver and co-driver seated at the cab. A single roof hatch serves as a turret for mounted weapons, i.e. an M2 Browning. The Bastion PATSAS is designed to carry more weapons, including an ATGM. In 2018 a more heavily armored Bastion was rolled out called the Fortress that’s meant for long-range missions.

Exports of the Bastion and its variants are still rare, but at least 30 have been sold to Togo in Africa.