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Ukrainian AMX-10RC anti-tank armored vehicle dubbed 'Sniper Rifle' in battle against Russian tanks

As the conflict in Ukraine continues to evolve, a significant update has surfaced regarding the tactical deployment of military equipment. The AMX-10RC / RCR reconnaissance anti-tank armored vehicles donated by France have been deployed by the Ukrainian Navy’s 37th Marine Brigade in a successful counter-offensive in the southern Donetsk Oblast. As confirmed by several posts on social media, these vehicles played a critical role in a daring assault on the Russian-held town of Velyka Novosilka.
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Picture of French AMX-10RCR in service with the Ukrainian Navy’s 37th Marine Brigade. (Picture source Ukrainian MoD)

The 37th Brigade spearheaded the initial assault on the fortified town, breaching the Russian defenses and paving the way for other Ukrainian formations—the 35th Marine Brigade, 25th Air Assault Brigade, 68th Jaeger Brigade, and a pair of territorial brigades—to push further south along the Mokri Yaly River.

Ukrainian soldiers have likened the French AMX-10RC / RCR  to a "sniper rifle" against Russian tanks, lauding its high-speed capabilities on the battlefield and precision fire from its 105mm main gun.

Originally designed by French firm GIAT, the aluminum AMX-10RC was created to epitomize key battle qualities, including fighting range, situational awareness, and speed, as highlighted by the Ukrainian Defense Minister.

However, it is important to note that the AMX-10RC was not designed to breach enemy fortifications—an undertaking typically reserved for tanks and specialized armored engineering vehicles that possess substantially more weight and benefit from steel or composite armor hundreds of millimeters thicker. The AMX-10RC, with its relatively thin layer of aluminum, was originally designed for reconnaissance and long-range engagements, and it appears the Ukrainians are putting these strengths to good use.

The successful counter-offensive marks a turning point in the conflict, demonstrating the effective use of the AMX-10RC's capabilities and the Ukrainian forces' resilience and resourcefulness. It remains to be seen how the deployment of these vehicles will shape the course of the conflict in the weeks and months to come.

Ukrainian AMX 10RC anti tank armored vehicle dubbed Sniper Rifle in battle against Russian tanks 925 002
French army AMX-10RCR reconnaissance anti-tank armored vehicle. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The Ukrainian forces have received from France a donation of 40 units of the AMX-10RCR, the latest variant of the French-made AMX-10RC reconnaissance anti-tank armored vehicles. This updated version, the AMX-10RCR, includes several improvements over the original model, bolstering its combat effectiveness. These enhancements range from a more powerful engine and improved suspension for better off-road capabilities, to additional protection against IEDs and a modernized fire control system.

The AMX-10RCR signifies a substantial upgrade from its predecessor, the AMX-10RC, with several key enhancements that contribute to improved performance on the battlefield.

Among the most significant enhancements is the vehicle's engine, which has been upgraded to deliver increased horsepower. This results in better speed and maneuverability, allowing the vehicle to traverse difficult terrain more efficiently. Alongside this, the suspension system has also been significantly improved to boost the vehicle's off-road capabilities.

Moreover, the AMX-10RCR incorporates additional protective measures against IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). This added layer of protection improves the vehicle's survivability in environments where such threats are common.

Lastly, the AMX-10RCR boasts a modernized fire control system, enabling more precise targeting and thereby increasing the vehicle's overall effectiveness in combat scenarios.

The AMX-10RCR, powered by a more robust engine than its predecessor, is capable of reaching a maximum speed of approximately 85 kilometers per hour (around 53 miles per hour) on the road. This speed allows for swift maneuvering and repositioning on the battlefield, which can be vital in certain combat scenarios. According to Ukrainian soldiers, the AMX-10RCR will be able to reach a top road speed of 120 km/h. 

The vehicle's main armament is a 105mm F2 gun, a versatile cannon that can fire a variety of munitions. The maximum firing range of this cannon depends on the type of ammunition used. When firing standard high-explosive or HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) rounds, the gun typically has a maximum effective range of up to 2,000 to 2,500 meters. However, when firing APFSDS (Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot) rounds, which are specifically designed for penetrating armored targets, the cannon's effective range can extend up to approximately 3,000 meters.

This impressive range, combined with the modernized fire control system of the AMX-10RCR, enables precise, long-distance engagements, providing a significant tactical advantage on the battlefield.

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