French wheeled combat vehicles named AMX-10RC turned out to be not very suitable for an active offensive on the real battlefield. this conclusion comes from the commander of the 37th Marine Brigade, quoted by AFP.
According to the Ukrainian officer, the vehicle's armor cannot withstand blasts of fragmentation caused by nearby artillery hits, there was a case when an artillery round exploded nearby – the fragments pierced through the AMX-10RC, and the ammunition stored inside the "wheeled tank" exploded. And overall despite having a highly accurate 105mm gun with high-quality sighting systems, AMX-10RC proved to be inefficient to use on the front line of hostilities. Therefore, after these details were disclosed to the media, the verdict was: AMX-10RC is not suitable for the offensive.
But the thing is, nothing else should have been expected from AMX-10RC to begin with. As soon as France announced it would provide these vehicles, although they were widely referred to as 'light tanks," they in fact never ceased to be armored reconnaissance combat vehicles. That is exactly how these are classified in the French Armed Forces.
Back then, Defense Express emphasized that every type of combat vehicle, including such as the AMX-10RC, has its own place on the battlefield. For the French reconnaissance vehicle, its outlines are, as suggested, reconnaissance in a "war of patrols" type of mission where mobility and ability to be the first one to spot the enemy are important. This is where AMX-10RC's advantage thrives.
One should not expect that the aluminum armor of AMX-10RC intended to protect against small arms fire at most, can compete with tank armor. The upper limit is that the front part, enhanced with an additional armor kit, can protect from a directly shot 23mm round from a 300 m distance.
The reason why this vehicle has so little armor is that it was designed for expeditionary forces where the adversary's most powerful weapon would be large-caliber machine guns installed on pickups or ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns at the very maximum.
All things considered, the obvious advantages of the AMX-10RC are potent sighting systems and operational mobility which comes with a drawback of wheeled chassis; the obvious disadvantage is thin armor. So the AMX-10RC should be perceived more like an analog to BRDM-2 scout car in the Ukrainian military but with a 105mm gun on top, rather than a tank. The full value of this combat vehicle only manifests in fire contact with the enemy during breakthrough assaults and raids into the enemy rear.
Of course, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are well aware of the specifics of this vehicle. However, due to the shortage of real western tanks, they are forced to use AMX-10RC as dictated by the current situation. That is because before entering a breakthrough assault, one needs to create a breach first. Having no better option at hand, Ukrainians have to use what there's at disposal.
Generally speaking, every army orders the equipment they need based on the war theater, tactics, and specifics of their adversary. That is how, just for illustration, France created the light AMX-10RC, while Israel made the heavy Namer APC. These two countries have completely different requirements and objectives for their weapons, but most importantly, different combat experiences.
That is also why France is replacing its AMX-10RC with EBRC Jaguar, classic VAB armored personnel carriers with VBMR Griffon vehicles of the MRAP class. Prior to that, all the tracked AMX-10P were replaced with wheeled VBCI.