The CRAB is one of the most popular vehicles in Armored Warfare and, currently, one of the best scouts in the game. Developed by Panhard to replace the VBL AFV, its prototype was unveiled in 2014 along with its heavier sibling, the SPHINX, which will also appear in Armored Warfare, as a Tier 10 Armored Fighting Vehicle.
The CRAB is lightly armored but agile and packs quite a punch. Its role in Armored Warfare is to scout for its heavier teammates. While it cannot engage well-armored targets such as MBTs from the front, it can still knock them out when hitting their lightly armored sides or rear.
The CRAB's standard steel armor is 50mm thick on all sides of the hull and the turret armor is 80mm thick, regardless of turret upgrades. This doesn't allow the vehicle to resist much beyond very basic automatic cannon fire, but the CRAB's best protection is its speed and agility, not its armor thickness.
The vehicle's powerful M16 engine gives it phenomenal speed and agility and allows it to top out at 110 km/h and to accelerate from 0 to 32 km/h in 2.15 seconds. Mobility can be further enhanced with the following upgrades:
- Electrical Starter and Generator, reducing the effectiveness of Thermal Sights by 15% and increasing the vehicle's camouflage factor on the move by 20%
- Run-Flat Tires, increasing off-road acceleration and top speed as well as increasing the suspension hitpoints, making it more durable
- Two Mobility Retrofit slots
A fully upgraded CRAB is extremely agile and fast even on soft surfaces, such as sand or mud, and can easily outflank other vehicle classes. Mobility is the key to its primary use – scouting. Moving from cover to cover makes it very hard to spot.
While a member of perhaps the lightest class in the game (with the exception of Terminator class vehicles), the CRAB can also deliver quite a punch. CRAB drivers can choose one of three armament options:
- 25mm M242 automatic cannon
- 30mm M230LF automatic cannon
- MPCV ATGM launcher
The first two options (the stock and the upgraded automatic cannon) are well-suited for "brawling" – close combat with opponents attempting to flank each other to take a shot at their vulnerable areas. The CRAB's mobility makes it extremely effective when using this tactic.
The stock 25mm M242 automatic cannon can fire two types of APFSDS rounds and one type of HEI round. High Explosive Incendiary rounds behave like standard HE rounds, but with a better chance of setting an engine on fire when hitting it.
The 30mm M230LF automatic cannon can fire three types of ammunition: HEDP rounds, API rounds and HEI rounds. For the purposes of the game, High Explosive Dual Purpose ammunition (HEDP) rounds behave like standard HEAT rounds, while API ammunition (Armor Piercing Incendiary) behaves like standard AP ammunition with the same increased chance of setting enemy engines on fire that the HEI rounds have. The incendiary ammunition combined with certain Commander skills that increase the chance of enemy vehicles catching fire can make for a very potent combination when targeting enemy Main Battle Tank rears.
The last option foregoes standard barreled weaponry in favor of a quad MPCV missile launcher, capable of firing four HEAT warhead guided missiles in short succession. Unlike the previous two options, the missile launcher can only be fired while the vehicle is stationary, making it unsuitable for close combat. This weapon configuration can instead be used for long-range ambushes. However, the limited amount of missiles carried has to be used carefully because many vehicles are equipped with various protection measures that are specifically effective against guided missiles (ERA, APS, cage armor etc.). Hiding in cover, launching a salvo and changing position are recommended when using the ATGM option.
CRAB firepower can be further enhanced with a Firepower Retrofit slot.
The CRAB can be equipped with a wide variety of technology options to enhance its scouting duties. These include:
- Upgraded Camera System, increasing the vehicle's view range by 40 meters
- Human-Machine Interface System, increasing the effectiveness of spotting through trees and bushes by 30%
- Improved Air Conditioning, increasing all crew stats by 2%
On top of that, the CRAB has a Universal Retrofit slot available – unlike the Firepower slot and the Mobility slots, this does not have to be unlocked and is available right from the start.
The CRAB is the perfect vehicle for players who enjoy staying hidden and ambushing their opponents, or for those who use its blazing speed to circle slower targets. It is one of the best scouts in the game and until the arrival of the Tier 10 SPHINX, it will remain the most powerful recon vehicle available.
See you on the battlefield!