France agrees to supply Ukraine with AMX-10RC light tanks able to fight Russian tanks

According to information published in the French Newspaper "Le Figaro" on January 4, 2023, French President Emmanuel Macron announced to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that France will deliver to Ukraine French-made light tanks AMX-10RC / RCR armed with a 105mm semi-automatic cannon able to defeat Russian Main Battle Tanks (MBTs).
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French army AMX-10RCR light reconnaissance antitank wheeled armored vehicle. (Picture source Army Recognition)

With this new announcement, France shows its commitment to intensify its delivery of combat vehicles to Ukraine following the invasion of the country by the Russian army.

Currently, the French army had a total of 245 AMX-10RC/RCR. For several years France has launched the Scorpion program for the modernization of its land forces with the replacement of the AMX-10RC/RCR by the Jaguar 6x6 armored vehicle.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, France has already provided military equipment and weapons to Ukraine for an amount of €470 million and is ranked the 5th country in Europe providing military, financial, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

With the delivery of the AMX-10RC to Ukraine, France is the first country in the world to provide an armored vehicle capable of fighting Russian tanks. In fact, the AMX-10RC is able to fire Nexter Munitions APFSDS (Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot) 105 F1 round which can destroy main battle tanks at a maximum firing range of 2,200m.

In the French army, the AMX-10RC is used as a reconnaissance armored vehicle. The development of the vehicle started in September 1970 at the Atelier de Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux (AMX) to meet a French Army requirement for new fire support armored vehicle and it entered into service with the French army in 1979. The vehicle was upgraded to the standard AMX-10RCR to offer more protection, mobility, and firepower. In 2003, the French Army will take delivery of the first Nexter AMX-10RC armored vehicle.

The AMX-10RC/RCR is fitted with a three-man turret armed with one 105 mm F2 semi-automatic gun with a vertical wedge breech block and a barrel with a thermal jacket and a two-stage muzzle brake. The second armament of the AMX-10RC/RCR includes one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and one 7.62mm machine gun mounted on the hatch of the commander.

The layout of the AMX-10RC/RCR consists of three main parts with the driver seated at the front left of the hull, the turret in the middle with the commander, gunner and loader, and the engine at the rear. The hull and turret of the AMX-10RCR are made with all-welded aluminum armor which provides protection for the crew against the firing of small arms and shell splinters. The AMX-10RCR is fitted with new add-on armor composed of steel plates which provide additional protection against the firing of small arms and anti-tank ammunition. The rear part of the turret has been extended to provide additional space for equipment.

The AMX-10RC/RCR is powered by a diesel engine developing 280 hp at 3,000 rpm coupled to preselective transmission with 4 forward and 4 reverse gears. It can run at a maximum road speed of 85 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 1,000 km.