After the Second World War the French armor development continued essentially from where it left off before the war. A certain amount of research was conducted during the war, resulting in various existing vehicle improvement projects such as the SARL 42 - but it was only after the war when the development started in earnest again. Today, we will have a look at some of the famous French vehicles that have a chance to appear in Armored Warfare.
One of the most widespread light tanks in the world was developed in late 1940’s was used not only by France – it became a commercial success as well with over two dozen countries using it at one point or another. Its main features are the oscillating turret and a rapid-fire gun with automatic loading mechanism.
Just like the Leopard 1, the AMX-30 main battle tank was the result of the original joint German, French and Italian attempt to build a unified tank for the European NATO armies. One of its main features was the seeming lack of armor – the reason for that was based on the opinion that no amount of armor would be able to stop modern Soviet shells anyway and therefore if was actually better to build tanks protected only from Soviet low caliber automatic cannons while being as agile and fast as possible. This successful design served in the French army for more than twenty years to be replaced by the Leclerc in the late 90’s.
The Leclerc main battle tank (named after the famous French marshal Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque) was developed to replace the aging AMX-30 in the 80’s with first vehicles entering service in 1993 and by the time of the production start it was the most expensive main battle tank in the world. Unlike with other western contemporary designs, the French focused on weight limits as well as the protection in its development. An upgraded version remains in service in France to this day.
This French IFV was developed between 1965 and 1968 and entered service in 1973. The AMX-10P hull became a platform for a multitude of vehicles that include an ATGM launcher, a 90mm fire support vehicle and a mortar carrier. It was exported to multiple countries as well.