The AMX 10RC armoured reconnaissance vehicle
The AMX 10RC is a medium-weight reconnaissance vehicle armed with a 105mm cannon. The vehicle, supplied by Nexter Systems (formerly Giat), has been in service with the French Army (300) since 1980 and is also in service with Morocco (108) and Qatar (12).
A new company, Satory Military Vehicles, was set up by Giat and Renault with responsibility for the AMX-10RC and a number of other vehicles including the VAB series. However, in September 2003, it was decided to wind up this company.
It was determined that Giat would be prime contractor and have responsibility for marketing of the VBCI, the AMX 10P and AMX 10RC. Renault Trucks Defense is prime contractor and has responsibility for marketing of the VAB.
The AMX 10RC has been deployed in Chad during Operation Manta in 1983/84, during Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in 1991 and in support of UN operations in Kosovo.
AMX-10RC reconnaissance vehicle upgrade programme
In December 2000, the French Army awarded a contract for the upgrade of 256 AMX-10RC vehicles. The upgrade includes: new automatic transmission, new electro-hydraulic suspension control system, additional armour protection, a battlefield management information system, the Galix self-protection system, laser warning system, IFF (identification, friend or foe) system, thermal imager for night vision and PR4G radios from Thales (formerly Thomson-CSF).
Two prototype vehicles were delivered in 2002 for trials. Deliveries of the first upgraded vehicles began in 2005 and the 100th upgraded vehicle was delivered in February 2008. Final deliveries were concluded in 2010. The upgrade will maintain the operational capability of the vehicles until 2020/2025. First operational deployment of the upgraded vehicles was in Cote d’Ivoire with the French Foreign Legion in 2006. The upgraded vehicle deployed in the French service is known as AMX 10 RC rénové.
Battlefield management inofrmation information system
The battlefield management information system, the SIT V1 terminal information system, has been developed by Nexter and EADS Defense Electronics Systems and is based on the FINDERS system in service on French Army Leclerc tanks. Nexter is responsible for the software and system integration and EADS for the computer and graphics terminal.
The system connects the weapon systems and the squadron command vehicles equipped with them to the chain of command. They allow the exchange of digitised data, including the tactical situation and graphic orders displayed on a background map, between the vehicle and the squadron command vehicle.
AMX 10RC turret configurations
There are two turret configurations for the AMX 10RC: the TK 105 turret with light 105mm gun or the TML 105 turret with 105mm NATO standard gun, both manufactured by Nexter Systems. The TK 105 and TML 105 turrets use a mantlet sight, which is firmly linked to the movements of the gun for firing accuracy.
The TML 105 turret has a conveyor for storing and loading ammunition rounds. The Nexter Munitions APFSDS (armour-piercing, fin-stabilised, discarding sabot) 105 F1 round, fired by the TML 105 gun, can destroy single and triple Nato heavy tanks at a distance of 2,200m. The hit probability is stated as higher than 90% at 2,000m.
The close defence of the AMX 10RC is provided by a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun.
Upgraded AMX 10RC protection
The upgraded AMX 10RC is equipped with the Galix defence system, which dispenses anti-personnel grenades, large band smoke grenades and decoys. The welded light alloy structure provides protection against artillery shell splinters and automatic medium calibre weapons. The LIRE infrared countermeasures system is also also incorporated in the vehicle.
Some French Army vehicles have been fitted with the EADS Defence Electronics Eirel infrared jammer, which protects against infrared anti-tank missiles.
The AMX 10 RC can be fitted with nuclear, chemical and biological warfare (NBC) protection with air filtering and crew compartment overpressurisation.
Fire control and observation
The TK 105 turret has a Cotac fire control system from Safran (formerly Sagem), allowing it to acquire fixed and mobile targets in less than six seconds by day or night.
In the TK 105 turret, for daytime operations, the commander is provided with wide field episcopes and a 360° panoramic M389 sight with ×2 and ×8 magnifications. This serves to retain direct observation independently from the turret, whilst the gunner uses a ×10 magnification M504 sight with an M550 laser rangefinder.
By night, the commander and the gunner are provided with a DIVT 13 low light level television camera from Thales, which is effective up to 1,200m. The upgraded vehicles are fitted with a Thales DIVT 16 Castor thermal camera, which provides observation and identification to a range of 4,000m.
The TML 105 turret has a Soptac fire control system, also from Safran, which provides automatic acquisition of targeting parameters for on-the-move firing against mobile targets. It is equipped with a range of modular day and night observation equipment, based on image intensifiers or infrared technology.
The capabilities range from firing by day against fixed targets to on-the-move firing by day and by night against mobile targets at a distance of more than 2,000m.
The vehicle has similar cross-country performance to that of a tracked vehicle. The transmission and suspension are integrated inside the hull to prevent damage. The skid steering allows on-the-spot turning.
The pressure in the tyres can be adapted on the move to suit ground conditions. The vehicle can continue with total or partial destruction of one or two of the six tyres.
The hydropneumatic suspension is supplied by Messier Auto Industrie. The AMX 10RC can negotiate 50% gradients, 30% side slopes, 1.65m ditches and vertical steps up to 0.8m.
The vehicle has a sustained top speed of over 85km/h on roads and an unrefuelled range of 1,000km. It is amphibious with a maximum speed of 2m/s in water. Water propulsion is provided by two water jets. It is also air transportable in a C-130, IL-76 or Boeing 747 aircraft.
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