Again in January, France pledged to Ukraine an unspecified quantity—maybe 50—of the French military’s soon-to-be-surplus AMX-10RC wheeled reconnaissance automobiles.
Two months later, the primary movies have appeared on social media depicting Ukrainian troopers coaching to make use of the 15-ton, six-wheel automobiles with their turret-mounted 105-millimeter weapons.
The expansive, treeless terrain of the Camp de Canjuers coaching vary in southern France underscores the distinctive strengths of the four-crew AMX-10RCs, which French agency GIAT started constructing within the Nineteen Seventies.
The AMX-10RC is thinly armored however closely armed and quick. It’s extremely cell firepower. The type a rational commander would deploy on an enormous open battlefield the place velocity issues greater than safety does.
That just about describes the fields and farms of occupied southern Ukraine, the place Russian troops are skinny on the bottom. And the place, it’s value noting, the Ukrainians are extensively anticipated to launch a significant counteroffensive within the coming weeks.
If the Ukrainians do assault within the south, maybe executing a left hook from their base in Zaporizhzhia Oblast towards Russian-held Crimea, there’s an opportunity the AMX-10RCs might be on the vanguard.
The AMX-10RC’s velocity isn’t only a issue of its lightness, strong suspension and 280-horsepower diesel engine. Sure, an AMX-10RC can velocity alongside a street at 53 miles per hour.
But it surely’s the car’s simplicity, reliability and gasoline effectivity—500 miles on a single tank of diesel—that enable a unit organized round AMX-10RCs to maneuver lengthy distances, quick.
Take into account that, when the U.S. Military’s 2nd Armored Brigade Fight Group, 1st Infantry Division organized a street march between two coaching ranges in Germany in 2018, it took the 700-vehicle convoy three days to cowl 50 miles.
To be honest to the 2nd ABCT, it was touring alongside German highways and respecting on a regular basis Germans motoring alongside the identical roads.
Nonetheless, the brigade needed to take care of all of the issues you’d anticipate whereas coordinating a whole lot of 70-ton tanks and 40-ton preventing automobiles in blended formations. Tanks and IFVs are heavy, advanced machines. They break down.
Examine the 2nd ABCT’s street march to the epic street march the French navy’s AMX-10RC-equipped 1st Marine Infantry Regiment executed in Mali in 2013. Speeding to intervene as Islamists threatened the impoverished Central African nation, the regiment coated 250 miles in six days.
That’s a tempo practically twice what the heavier American brigade managed 5 years later. If a Ukrainian brigade with AMX-10RCs can match the French marines’ swiftness in Mali, it may cowl 150 miles—the space from free Zaporizhzhia to occupied northern Kherson Oblast—in three days.
After all, the Ukrainian brigade first would wish to interrupt by way of Russian defenses south of Zaporizhzhia. Which may power commanders to ship in tanks for the preliminary preventing, earlier than loosing the AMX-10RCs to dash towards Kherson and Crimea.