According to the soldier who directly operated the vehicle, the French wheeled tank had too weak armor, it was easily penetrated by enemy weapons.
According to reports, Ukraine has received 40 AMX-10RC armoured fighting vehicles from France. It was once expected that the AMX-10RC would be crucial in the war against the Russians, but will a 1970s armored vehicle with thin armor give Ukraine the upper hand on the battlefield remains to be seen.
Recently an article in Bulgarianmilitary cited a negative review from a Ukrainian soldier with the nickname “Grey” in an interview. According to the soldier who directly operated the vehicle, the French wheeled tank had too weak armor, it was easily penetrated by enemy weapons. The soldier told of a battle of the 37th Ukrainian Division near Velika Novosilka, that a single salvo of ordinary bullets was enough to penetrate the French-supplied AMX-10RCs.
The soldier, nicknamed Grey, said: “The armored vehicles, sometimes called “light tanks,” were not heavy enough to protect the soldiers.” It should be noted that the AMX-10RC was modified by France at the request of Ukraine. For example, Kyiv wants these combat vehicles to have better awareness, speed, and combat range of the 105 mm gun. It is likely that France installed more advanced optical systems to achieve battlefield awareness. In addition to increasing the range, new generation projectiles are also provided.
As Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has described, the AMX-10 RC “is a sniper rifle on… fast wheels.” There are questions raised, why is a fire support vehicle used as a spearhead to break through the enemy’s defense? Although it is possible that the French Army has improved on the durability of the armor, it is still unreasonable to use it in this role, especially in the context that Ukrainian soldiers know very well the weapons of the Russian armed forces. There is also the possibility that simply timing is a key factor. For example, Ukraine urgently needs armored fighting vehicles, and a possible update of the armor would take longer than expected.
The AMX-10RC is equipped with a steel and aluminum alloy armor that provides protection against attacks from medium-sized weapons and shrapnel. The steel should provide a high level of protection against small arms fire and shrapnel, while the aluminum helps reduce the overall weight of the vehicle. The armor is also designed to be modular, meaning that damaged sections can easily be replaced in the field.
The armor of the AMX-10RC is not designed to withstand direct attacks from heavy weapons. Armor is also vulnerable to certain types of ammunition, such as armor-piercing projectiles. Therefore, it is important that this vehicle be used in conjunction with other armored vehicles. It will be more effective in an infantry support role to minimize damage and casualties.
Armor thickness of the AMX-10RC varies by location. The front of the hull and turret are the most heavily armored areas, up to 40 mm. The sides and rear of the hull are about 20mm thick, while this figure on the floor is only 10mm.