Old but not obsolete – Ukraine to get its first Western Tank, then French AMX-10 RC

The AMX-10 RC armoured vehicle first appeared in French service in the 1980s. It is a fifteen-ton wheeled tank designed in the 1970s and armed with a 105 mm F2 BK MECA L/48 cannon (38 rounds) and an AA 7.62 NF1 machine gun.

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Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P. Chacko is the publisher of Frontier India. He holds an M.B.A in International Business. Books: Author: Foxtrot to Arihant: The Story of Indian Navy's Submarine Arm; Co Author : Warring Navies - India and Pakistan. *views are Personal

On January 4, French President Emmanuel Macron had a phone conversation with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, during which he announced that France would provide Ukraine with the AMX-10 RC armoured vehicle manufactured in France. The Ukrainian armed forces will, for the very first time, take delivery of a tank that was developed in Western nations.

Since the 1980s, the AMX 10 RC has been in use by the French army, where it is classified as a light tank. The AMX 10 RC is currently in the process of being retired from service. The decision to donate will represent a significant shift in France’s military support for Ukraine.

No information is available regarding the quantity of AMX 10 RCs that will be given or the delivery timeframe. In addition, France offered to give training as well as maintenance. During a conversation between the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu and his Ukrainian counterpart, all issues will be handled.

AMX 10 RC light tank

The wheeled and armoured vehicle known as the AMX-10 RC first appeared in French service in the 1980s. Even though this tank is quite old, it has not become obsolete and is still put to good use today. In addition to that, it was active in every foreign conflict in which France was a participant.

The French Ministry of Defense says that the AMX-10 RC is a heavily armed and protected reconnaissance vehicle that is amphibious, has outstanding road mobility, and provides protection against light infantry weapons. It can fight despite being in a contaminated environment.

The Moroccan and Qatari armed forces field these AMX-10 RC light battle tanks. The AMX-10RC is a fifteen-ton wheeled tank designed in the 1970s and armed with a 105 mm F2 BK MECA L/48 cannon (38 rounds) and an AA 7.62 NF1 machine gun.

As part of the Scorpion programme, the AMX-10 RC tank, which has been in service ever since 1981, would be gradually replaced with the EBRC Jaguar armoured reconnaissance and combat vehicle.

The gearboxes on the AMX-10 RC tank fleet were the source of the technical troubles. Recent problems are on the cusp of being resolved, but the structure’s age and the restricted availability of spare components will ensure that structural concerns will continue to be a problem.

The crew is led by a commander and consists of a gunner, loader, and driver. The weight of the tank is around 16 tonnes and is 20 tonnes in battle order.

Not a tank

However, traditionalists do not recognise it as a tank because it does not have tracks. On the other hand, its six-wheel drive allows it to accommodate a 105-millimetre cannon with a range of two kilometres. A 7.62-millimetre machine gun that can hold up to 38 rounds of ammunition is mounted on the roof above the cockpit. Being mobile and quick, it quickly covers itself to avoid being shot at in return. The AMX-10RC is renowned for its durability in the industry. Although the army officially possesses 247 AMX-10 RC vehicles, a significant number of them need to be more serviceable.

Putting pressure on Germany

After France’s announcement to supply reconnaissance tanks to Ukraine, SPD leader Saskia Esken remained discreet on the issue of the delivery of German battle tanks.

“The German government and the German chancellor are always in close consultation on this with partners, with friends – especially of course with the Americans,” Esken said on Thursday on RLT/ntv’s “Frühstart” program, in answer to the question of when Germany would deliver Leopard 2 type tanks.

Ukraine continues to seek combat tanks and other Western weaponry and has been requesting German Leopard 2 tanks for months. However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) does not wish to give them alone and has frequently emphasised that no other nation has supplied comparable weapon systems. The French tank offered is not a combat tank like the French Leclerc or the Leopard, say the Germans.

Concerning the French Leclerc tanks, the Ukrainian request is dated, but France claims that maintaining them would make it difficult for them to be deployed to the front lines of the conflict with Russia.

After finishing production, the French are now using 222 Leclerc in their military. It is estimated that there are 184 more in storage. The French are planning to upgrade them to new XLR standards. Other than France, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) currently operates 388 Leclerc tanks. 

Before this, France mostly supplied Ukraine with trucks carrying Caesar artillery systems, which have performed average.


  1. During the Angola war, aka “The Bush War”, South African AMX 10RC performed well and were credited with several hits on Soviet-made T-54 and PT-76 Cuban tanks. SA AMX used “hit then run” tactics, otherwise said firing then hiding under the bush cover. The sandy or rocky ground was another advantage for these wheeled machines over classical tanks. Therefore I’m dubious about the efficacy of AMX 10 RC in the Ukrainian ecosystem. However, it’s always better to have such armored vehicles than pick-up trucks.

  2. I totally agree that the wheeled vehicles shamefully supplied by France are absolutely not suited to the climate and the very muddy local soil. A ground that is called (ratzpoutiza). I don’t understand this logic, that of pushing for escalation. a conflict already lost if not pissing off the Russians to the last drop of Ukrainian blood. Quite discovering little equipment in the presence of European armies. Equipment not at all adapted to the conflict and the force differential. Serving only as a target for the Russians. The Ukrenians lack the training, ammunition and most importantly the ecosystem to protect the material. Especially extremely sophisticated guns like the 155 Cesare are being ducked (for lack of protection) at the funfair by $20,000 drones. It’s ridiculous and as a taxpayer I’m fed up with European governments.

    Political criticism: We must accept reality, the game is over. We must therefore negotiate with Russia and save what can still be saved. Above all, stop the massacre, the lives of soldiers and civilians (on both sides). This tragedy which takes away young Westerners in the prime of life is a shame. And this shame goes mainly to the warmonger, those who accuse while pushing the other side to war for decades and today refuse any negotiation, worse arm one of the belligerents.

    Europe does not have to be the minion of the USA. To follow them everywhere in their stupid war, their color revolution, their destabilization of the whole country, their pathological hatred of the Russian. And all this for what? the total economic collapse of Europe. Have millions of victims like in Iraq? Enriching Zelensky and his henchmen, a Ukrainian Jewish mafia, supporting the world’s most corrupt government, and N*zi bander militias. A country that is anything but a democracy. with the highest rate of corruption and poverty in Europe. (A country that has no historical existence, created from scratch by the communists) NO! The international community had better put in place a total arms embargo, and dissolve this puppet country. Like Yugoslavia in the past (you can’t always have a double standard). What will calm all belligerents is sharing. Let the lands filled with Polish belong to Poland, let the lands filled with Russians belong to Russia, the same with Hungary and Moldova. Everyone will get their money’s worth. Better a well-arbitrated, fair and honest divorcer than a forced marriage of people who radically hate each other. Peoples who experience this forced union as a tragedy. Whether we like it or not, the Poles take the Russians for subhumans and want to genocide them, and the Russians no longer want to live with them, no longer support their torturers, that’s why they are separatists. And the lost territories are irrecoverable, defended by the 6,000 nuclear warheads of the Russian nuclear arsenal. Dissolution and negotiation are the only logical solution (Poland can be guaranteed access to the Sea of Azov. European reality is that we all have to gain from peace (unlike the washington crime pushers)

  3. This is a rather poorly written and badly researched article. Ukraine received its first “Western Tank” months ago in the form of Fv107 CVR(T) Scimitar tanks from the UK.


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