July 9, 2023
The French armoured fighting vehicle AMX-10 RC is sometimes called a wheeled or a light tank because of its large 105 mm gun. It has a 6 x 6 chassis, which is a bit unusual for this type or armoured combat vehicles. France has pledged to supply 40 such vehicles to Ukraine and a good amount from that number should be at the frontlines already. But do Ukrainians like them?
The advantage of the AMX-10 RC is its large gun. In fact, the AMX-10 RC is sometimes described as a wheeled tank destroyer. Its wheeled chassis has one great advantage – speed. Tracked vehicles rarely can travel as wheeled ones.
The AMX-10 RC reaches the top speed of 85 km/h. Modern main battle tanks in comparison can travel at speeds of around 70 km/h. The AMX-10 RC is a bit of a tank in the fact that it has a crew of 4, but its main task is usually to provide close support for infantry and light vehicles.
Are Ukrainians happy about their AMX-10 RC vehicles? Well, the reviews have been mixed. On one hand, the Ukrainian marines of the 37th Brigade said that their French AMX-10 RC combat vehicle covered the attacking infantry very well.
Two Russian Ka-52 helicopters managed to fire on the AMX-10 RC, but this machine managed to retreat successfully, even with damaged wheels. Wheels and, especially, tires are typically the weak point of a vehicle like that – tracks can withstand much more. However, that particular AMX-10 RC might have gotten lucky.
The Telegraph reports that the French AMX-10 RC armoured fighting vehicle has armour that’s simply too weak. A 34-year-old Ukrainian soldier with the call sign “Spartan” told reporters that the AMX-10 RC has good weapons and surveillance equipment, but the armour of this machine is very thin.
According to the defender of Ukraine, the AMX-10 RC crew is so poorly protected that using these machines on the front lines is simply pointless and dangerous.
The Telegraph writes that, according to Oryx, Ukraine has already lost three AMX-10 RCs.
The AMX-10 RC has a wheeled chassis, which gives away that this machine is not very heavy – it weighs about 16 tonnes.
How can it be so light despite the 105mm gun? Well, connecting the dots is pretty easy – the armour isn’t very thick. This machine was designed in 1970 – it was a different time. Anti-tank weapons made significant leaps that in terms of armour the AMX-10 RC doesn’t even come close to what tracked vehicles can do.
The defenders of Ukraine will still use them, just not as close to the frontlines. This weakness simply means that some tactics need to be adjusted to find a way to take full advantage of the AMX-10 RC fighting vehicles in Ukraine.