The French have shown an innovative flair for armoured vehicles and the country was one of the first to design and field a wheeled alternative to the tank, writes David Garden
In the past few years, many militaries have considered whether the role of the main battle tank could be replaced by a wheeled armoured vehicle with powerful armament. These have the advantages of being simpler to maintain and, being lighter, can use routes that tanks cannot. Such vehicles can be armed with a cannon that can knock out most enemy targets encountered. In addition, as they move with less noise, they can perform reconnaissance roles as well.
Some refer to these vehicles as ‘wheeled tanks’. To others, they are heavy armoured cars. In an earlier article, I felt the Saladin armoured car was an early example of this type of vehicle.
The French have shown an innovative flair for armoured vehicles. They were one of the first to design and field a wheeled alternative to the tank, the AMX 10RC. The AMX 10RC is a medium-weight reconnaissance vehicle armed with a 105mm cannon. The RC in the name stands for ‘roues-cannon’ or wheeled gun. The French Army has around 240 vehicles in service, Morocco 108 AMX 10s and Qatar has 12. The Moroccan vehicles had local modifications to meet operating requirements.