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The AMX-10RC: Specifics of This Wheeled Tank, Its Place On the Battlefield

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The AMX-10RC / Credits: Armée française
The AMX-10RC / Credits: Armée française

The AMX-10RC has its own very specific features that must be taken into account when evaluating this combat vehicle

French AMX-10RC wheeled tanks will strengthen the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This scenario was considered by Defense Express in early September due to the fact that Paris is decommissioning them.

However, each weapon and military equipment has its own peculiarity and own specifics, especially wheeled tanks. In particular, in the French army, the AMX-10RC is designated as a combat armored reconnaissance fire vehicle. And the letters RC mean “Roues-Canon” – wheels-cannon.

Read more: How Ukraine’s Reconnaissance And UAVs Saved Shells And Accelerated Liberation of the North-East of Ukraine
The AMX-10RC: Specifics of This Wheeled Tank, Its Place On the Battlefield, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The AMX-10RC / Credits: Armée française

There are certain nuances that lie in the conceptuality of the AMX-10RC. When it comes to French technology, one must always remember what global tasks it was created for. Taking as an example military equipment and weapons from Germany or Sweden, which were created for the European military operations, taking into account the opposition of the russian federation. And in the case of France, 90% of these weapons created for conducting operations by expeditionary forces in "overseas territories".

That is why the appearance of the AMX-10RC in the 80s is understandable and logical. According to its concept, the AMX-10RC is a vehicle for mobile "patrol war", for unprepared combat, when the advantage in the range of detecting the enemy has a decisive role.

And this concept completely formed the specifics of the AMX-10RC. Firstly, wheeled tanks do not physically compare with tracked tanks in terms of armor. And the aluminum armor of the AMX-10RC in the basic version only for protection against small arms. In late 90s, the vehicle got additional steel armor protection. The weight of the vehicle has increased, it has lost amphibious capabilities, but it could withstand 23 mm shot from 300 meters. There is no question of protection against 30 mm, because the main "conditional enemy" of France in the 90s would most likely have ZU-23-2 pickup trucks, not BMP.

The AMX-10RC: Specifics of This Wheeled Tank, Its Place On the Battlefield, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The AMX-10RC / Credits: Armée française

As for firepower, despite the caliber of 105 mm, which is standard for many wheeled tanks, the specificity of the AMX-10RC is that due to the small size of the vehicle and its turret there was the issue of gun recoil. So, instead of the standard NATO 105x617 mm, the F2 BK MECA L/48 gun uses non-unified 105x527 mm shells. It should also be noted that the AMX-10RC gun is not stabilized.

The AMX-10RC: Specifics of This Wheeled Tank, Its Place On the Battlefield, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The AMX-10RC / Credits: Armée française

Another feature of the AMX-10RC and any other wheeled vehicle of a similar class is cross-country ability. Wheeled units will never compare with tracked machines in this respect. However, on the other hand, tracked vehicles will never have the same operational mobility as wheeled vehicles.

Taking the exceptional features of the AMX-10RC chassis, Defense Express notes the hydraulic suspension, which is able to "squat". And also a rather interesting transmission, which allows the wheeled vehicle to spin in one place, and also provides high reverse speed. At the same time, the wheels themselves are not swiveling and all maneuvers are performed due to braking. After all, when it comes to wheels, you have to understand their vulnerability to debris.

The AMX-10RC: Specifics of This Wheeled Tank, Its Place On the Battlefield, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The AMX-10RC / Credits: Armée française

All these are factors that directly affect the tactics of using the AMX-10RC. For example, high operational mobility makes these vehicles an ideal candidate for reserve forces according to the "maneuver-fire-maneuver" formula. The presence of advanced thermal imaging make the AMX-10RC a candidate for nightmarizing the enemy in conditions of a stable front line. The availability of high-explosive 105-mm projectiles allows, if necessary, to provide fire support from closed positions. And in the case of deep breakthroughs on the front it allows to act in the natural manner of a reconnaissance combat vehicle, which can independently destroy identified targets.

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