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Putin Will Flip?: France Is Sending AMX-10RC Tank Killers to Ukraine

T-90 tank from Russia. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

This week, the Ukrainian military will receive the first batch of AMX-10RC tank killers from France.

The French minister of defense announced the first 14 AMX-10RC wheeled tank destroyers would be arriving in Ukraine this weekend. 

The AMX-10RC

A 6X6 wheeled vehicle with a 105 mm medium pressure gun, the AMX-10RC combines the lethality of a tank with the mobility of an off-road vehicle.

The French tank killer has a crew of four and can weigh up to 22 tonnes depending on its configuration.

When it comes to armor, the AMX-10RC doesn’t have the heaviest armor but depends on its mobility to survive on the modern battlefield.

As far as armament goes, the AMX-10RC has 105 mm F2 BK MECA L/47 gun with 38 rounds that can hit targets up to 2,000 meters away.

For supporting weaponry, the tank killer has one 7.62 coaxial machine gun to defend against infantry and can also take an M2 Browning 0.50 caliber heavy machine gun on the turret.

The wheeled tank-killer has an operational range of 500 miles on the road and about 350 off-road, while it can reach speeds of 53 miles per hour on the road and 25 miles per hour off-road, making it an excellent weapon system for reconnaissance operations and ambushes. 

The AMX-10RC will give Ukraine some potent mechanized armed reconnaissance capabilities and also a powerful tank killer weapon system.

Russian main battle tanks aren’t well-defended and can be taken out fairly easily and in various ways. 

Indeed, the Soviet- and Russian-made tanks that the Russian forces are using have an inherent flaw in their design that essentially makes them a moving powder keg. Almost all of the tanks used by the Russian forces today have a crew of three men. The tank designers went with an automated refilling mechanism that did away with the need to have a loader. This mechanism sits right under the turret. However, what that means is that a single hit in the spot will make the tank explode. And we have seen this happen time and again with Russian tanks getting obliterated after just one hit. 

With the AMX-10RC tank killers, infantry fighting vehicles, and main battle tanks that Kyiv will be receiving in the immediate future, the Ukrainian military will have a much easier job in its upcoming counteroffensive. 

France Leading the Way 

French President Emmanuel Macron first announced his decision to send the tank killers to Ukraine in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in January.

His decision likely opened the way for the West to send main battle tanks to Ukraine. 

Soon after Macron’s decision, the United Kingdom announced the shipment of a company of 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Kyiv.

Then, after much back-and-forth and backroom negotiations, Germany and the U.S. announced that they would be sending Leopard 2 and M1A2 Abrams tanks, respectively. T

The German decision paved the way for many more nations operating the German-made Leopard 2 to send their tanks to Ukraine. 

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Expert Biography: A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.