Posted 6 января 07:43

Published 6 января 07:43

Modified 6 января 11:39

Updated 6 января 11:39

Without tracks, but a tank: France is the first to decide to send shock armored vehicles to Ukraine

6 января 2023, 07:43

France was the first to decide to send shock armored vehicles to Ukraine

Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, decided to be the first to take the step that both Washington and Berlin were thinking about, but so far refrained from sending Western–designed tanks to Ukraine.

Alexander Sychev

We are not talking about the main combat vehicles AMX-56 Leclerc, but the light wheeled tank AMX-10RC / RCR, even if not the most modern technology, is also a very serious weapon.

 

These tanks were used by French troops in the wars in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and in the Sahel region in West Africa. The number of machines being sent is not named.

The first prototype of the tank was manufactured in 1971 and, in fact, was an infantry armored vehicle. Tests of the prototype with a gun turret were completed in 1977, and two years later the first serial AMX-10RC entered service with the French army. Today, these vehicles are basic for armored cavalry regiments that are part of the Rapid Reaction Forces.

The car has a tank layout: in front there is a compartment with a workplace for the driver, behind it there is a combat compartment with a triple turret, and in the stern there is a motor–transmission compartment.

The AMX-10RC, as well as its more modern RCR modification, is armed with a 105mm F2 rifled cannon with a semi-automatic shutter. It is capable of shooting at a range of up to two kilometers.

In 1987, an OFL105 F3 subcalibre armor-piercing projectile weighing 3.8 kilograms was introduced into the tank's ammunition. Its initial velocity reaches 1400 meters per second, and it can penetrate homogeneous steel armor 365 millimeters thick, mounted at an angle of 60 degrees.

Later, Nexter Munitions 105 F1 armor-piercing shells were included in the tank's arsenal, which can destroy main battle tanks at a maximum range of 2.2 kilometers. In fact, the AMX-10RS / RCR is able to effectively fight with some tanks of old models, on which the armor protection has not been upgraded.

The ammunition of the light tank is 38 shells. As a rule, the set includes 10 sub-caliber, 9 cumulative and 19 high-explosive shells. Twelve rounds of ammunition are placed in the turret, the rest are in the body of the car.

AAN F1 7.62 mm machine guns are used as auxiliary weapons. One of them is mounted coaxially with the cannon, the second is at the top of the tower. The ammunition of machine guns is 4.2 thousand rounds.

The M401 COTAC fire control system with a laser rangefinder operating in the range from four to ten kilometers with an accuracy of five meters was created by Safran. The system provides firing at moving targets at any position of the tower, as well as automatic calculation of corrections. The data calculation time for firing is 1.5 seconds.

In 2005-2010, 256 cars were upgraded to the AMX-10RCR (Rénové) standard. They received the SIT-VI combat information system, which provided information exchange with other vehicles and unit controls, self-defense equipment, including the LIRE infrared suppression station (it is designed to confuse anti-tank guided missiles), the Gallix grenade launcher system, updated communications, a new thermal imaging camera operating at a distance of up to four kilometers, and the system of automatic listening to the air.

The hull and turret are made of all-welded aluminum armor, which protects the crew from small arms fire and shell fragments. The armor protection was upgraded several times, as a result of which the mass of the tank increased from the original 16 to 17.2 tons, and with the mine and anti–explosive protection complex SEPAR - 22 tons.

The tanks are equipped with 280 horsepower diesel engines connected to a preselective transmission with four forward gears and the same amount of reverse. The maximum speed is 85 kilometers per hour, and the power reserve is 800 kilometers.

The AMX-10RCR is equipped with a hydropneumatic suspension, which allows not only to mitigate the effect of driving over rough terrain, but also, if necessary, to align the car in a horizontal plane.

Military experts say that in the conditions of a developed road network in Ukraine, a wheeled tank will become a very formidable force capable of participating in offensive operations of various kinds. 

Currently, the French army has a total of 245 light tanks in RC and RCR versions and is gradually replacing them with new vehicles.