France has agreed to supply Ukraine with AMX-10RC light tanks in the fight against the Russian invasion.
The French AMX-10 RC is an armored fighting vehicle with quite a lot of firepower. With its 105mm MECA main gun, it is said to be capable of defeating the Russian Main Battle Tank (MBT). In service with French cavalry units since 1981, more than 240 are still in service with the French Army, and it is gradually being replaced by the EBRC Jaguar from 2021 onwards.
In the latest development, France has agreed to supply Ukraine with AMX-10RC light tanks in the fight against the Russian invasion, the announcement on January 4, 2023 said. Along with the AMX-10 RC, France also committed to sending Ukraine Bastion armored personnel carriers. This is the first time that Western-made tanks have been delivered to Ukraine. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, France has provided military equipment and weapons to Ukraine in the amount of 470 million euros, among the largest donors to Ukraine.
The AMX-10 RC is manufactured by GIAT for armored reconnaissance or fire support purposes. The vehicle is fitted with a MECA 105 mm medium-pressure gun mounted in a GIAT Industries TK 105 three-man turret. The turret uses a SAMM CH49 electrohydraulic gun control system, but no stabilization system is fitted. An ANF1 7.62 mm machine gun is mounted coaxially to the main armament, and two electrically-operated smoke grenade launchers are mounted on each side of the turret. A total of 38 main gun rounds and 4,000 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition and 16 smoke grenades are carried.
AMX-10 RC has a 6×6 wheel arrangement and is equipped with a hydropneumatic suspension system with variable ground clearance and inclination, due to which it can effectively hide in the terrain. The AMX-10 RC has a frontal armour resistant against 23 mm API from 300 m and 14.5 mm AP all-around with add-on armor made of aluminum with additional steel screens of high hardness. The weight of the vehicle is 20 tons, which is two tons lighter than the Ukrainian BTR-4 armored personnel carrier.
Mobility is provided by a Hispano-Suiza HS-115 multifuel engine, giving a top road speed of up to 85 km/h, and an off road speed of 40 km/h. The range is up to 800 km. Two waterjets, mounted on each side of the hull at the rear, are used for water propulsion.
It is not clear how many AMX-10 RCs will be delivered to Ukraine, and its schedule. Either way, it will pave the way for Western heavy combat vehicles to be transferred to Ukraine in the future.