105mm tank destroyers with precise rounds will be given to Ukraine

PARIS, FRANCE — Ukraine to receive AMX-10RCR tank destroyers. The information was made public very soon – on December 4. The source of the information is the host of the Elysée Palace and French President Mr. Emmanuel Macron.

105mm tank destroyers with precise rounds will be given to Ukraine - AMX-10RCR
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Many media refer to the AMX-10RCR as a tank. This is an incorrect definition according to military standards for a tank. The AMX-10RCR is a wheeled tank destroyer. It is a French production of Nexter Systems. Although some experts try to describe it as new, this is not true. The AMX-10RCR is a 1970s design. In 1981, it officially entered service in the French army, becoming a 42-year-old weapon system.

Despite its outdated design, the AMX-10RCR has an impressive armament. 105mm main gun that operates by firing medium-precise rounds. For close combat, the French have integrated into the turret of the tank destroyer one 7.62 mm NF1 coaxial machine gun, supplemented by one 12.7 mm M2HB AA machine gun and four GALIX smoke dischargers.

Mr. Macron announced the future delivery of the tank destroyer, but there is currently no information on what quantity will be delivered and in what variant. This is important because the AMX-10RCR is designed to use different propulsion systems. For example, the basic and first version of the vehicle is powered by an HS-115 multifuel engine, which guarantees only 250 horsepower. For a tank destroyer, the power is not great. But, if Ukraine gets the newer versions, they may be equipped with a Diesel Model 6F11 SRX engine, which provides at least another 50 horsepower.

105mm tank destroyers with precise rounds will be given to Ukraine
Photo credit: Mezha.media

Of course, there is a possibility, however small, that France may decide to provide Ukraine with modernized AMX-10RCRs. The last known modernization was in 2010, or nearly 23 years. In addition to the improved armament, in 2010 the French significantly improved the active protection and armor of the tank destroyer. The 2010 modification also features a better suspension and gearbox.

France will soon completely decommission the AMX-10RCR. This process already started two years ago. The Engin Blindé de Reconnaissance et de Combat Jaguar will replace the aging and near-retirement AMX-10RCR.

With the process of decommissioning already started, Ukraine will be able to solve a serious problem regarding the operation of Western weapons – a shortage of spare parts. France and Ukraine will be able to agree that a certain part of the available French AMX-10RCRs will be directly sent to the front, and Paris will set aside a few more in its warehouses to be “cannibalized” in the future. I.e. to be used for spare parts or upgrading of Ukrainian tank destroyers. France has 248 units of this weapon system according to information from open sources.

Leclerc, Abrams and Leopard 2

The delivery of the AMX-10RCR is of course good news for the Ukrainian armed forces, which continue to battle the Russian armed forces. But at the same time, a bitter taste remains – Ukraine wants tanks but does not get them. Many experts in France would try to say that France is sending tanks, but as we said, they are not tanks.

Ukraine has officially sent a request to France to receive the French Leclerc tanks. Paris has taken note of the request and it is currently being considered. But there is still no decision on whether the Ukrainians will receive French tanks. This announcement comes amid some comments attacking Germany’s policy of not sending tanks. However, in reality, everyone is attacking everyone, but no one is sending tanks – not Leclerc, not Abrams, not Leopard 2.

The situation may change soon, however. It is more likely to change along the Germany-Scandinavia axis. Berlin has not refused to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, but it refuses to do so alone. At least this is the conclusion of last year’s last speech by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. However, Finland and Sweden are ready to change that. Currently, in these new Scandinavian countries, the so-called “tank lobby” shows whether Germany’s intentions are real. In short – the Scandinavian countries are ready to donate Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. In this way, Berlin will not be independent in its next action – a donation of German tanks to Ukraine.

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