France’s GIAT Industries has declined to confirm reports that it is negotiating with a local partner a licence for the construction of between 500 and 1,000 of its VAB armoured vehicles for the armed forces.

According to a French press report, Michel Ranquet, manager of the GIAT plant which manufactures the VAB, is negotiating the sale of a production licence with a Turkish heavy vehicle manufacturer.

The company, which GIAT would not identify, is understood to be looking for technical and logistical assistance from the state-owned French company.

GIAT became proprietor of VAB production technology in 1993 when it took control of Creusot-Loire, which had produced the vehicle until then with Renault Vehicules Industriels.

The vehicle has not been produced in series since then, although a small workforce is continuing to repair and rebuild existing VABs.