France To Transfer AMX-10 RCs to Ukraine

France is set to provide Ukraine with AMX-10 RC armored fighting vehicles, which are often described as light tanks or tank destroyers, but was largely designed for aggressive scouting. The 6×6 wheeled AMX-10 RC carries a capable 105mm gun able to deal with most Russian armored fighting vehicles and conceivably engage Russian tanks too with OFL 105 F3 armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed the transfer of an undisclosed number of AMX-10 RCs following a call with French President Emmanuel Macron. Zelenskyy noted that he thanked Macron “for the decision to transfer light tanks [almost certainly to referring to the AMX-10 RC] and Bastion APCs to Ukraine, as well as for intensifying work with partners in the same direction.” This also confirms the transfer of a number of ACMAT Bastion 4×4 armored personnel carriers. It had previously been reported in October that 20 Bastions would be sent to Ukraine.

The Ukrainian ground forces are in dire need of platforms which can in support of infantry and light mechanised units. A number of locally assembled assault guns made by pairing MT-LB (IFVs) with T-12 and MT-12 100mm anti-tank guns have been seen in action in Donbas over recent months.

One issue with the transfer of the AMX-10 RCs is that it add yet another unique ammunition type to the Ukrainian logistics chain. The AMX-10 RC uses a medium pressure F2 BK MECA L/47 gun which fires a proprietary family of 105×527mmR rounds. High Explosive, APFSDS and High-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) ammunition is available for the vehicle’s gun.

France is in the process of replacing its AMX-10 RCs with the new EBRC Jaguar, so will theoretically have a considerable number of AMX-10 RCs to transfer to Ukraine. The Jaguar is equipped the CTA International CT40 cannon firing 40mm case telescoped ammunition as well as MBDA’s Medium-Range Missile/MMP anti-tank missile.

While sophisticated Western long range precision artillery systems have been transferred in significant numbers the US has preferred Ukraine be to supply with simpler Soviet-era tanks. The AMX-10 RC represents one of the most capable Western AFVs to be transfered to Ukraine so far. As Zelenskyy noted in his tweet, it remains to be seen if other nations might follow suit with other ‘light tanks’ of the same class such as the US M1128 Mobile Gun System or the B1 Centauro.