The Ukrainian Navy’s Ex-French Recon Autos Are Swiftly And Reliable—And Perfect The Ingredient For A Southern Counteroffensive

French military AMX-10RCs in the Center East in 1990 or 1991.

Wikimedia Commons

Aid in January, France pledged to Ukraine an unspecified quantity—maybe 50—of the French military’s soon-to-be-surplus AMX-10RC wheeled reconnaissance vehicles.

Two months later, the first movies absorb appeared on social media depicting Ukrainian troopers coaching to make employ of the 15-ton, six-wheel vehicles with their turret-mounted 105-millimeter guns.

The tall, treeless terrain of the Camp de Canjuers coaching vary in southern France underscores the interesting strengths of the four-crew AMX-10RCs, which French agency GIAT started constructing in the 1970s.

The AMX-10RC is thinly armored however heavily armed and hasty. It’s highly mobile firepower. The model a rational commander would deploy on a sizable open battlefield where flee issues bigger than security does.

That moderately well-known describes the fields and farms of occupied southern Ukraine, where Russian troops are thin on the ground. And where, it’s worth noting, the Ukrainians are broadly expected to open a chief counteroffensive in the upcoming weeks.

If the Ukrainians come by assault in the south, maybe executing a left hook from their immoral in Zaporizhzhia Oblast toward Russian-held Crimea, there’s of endeavor the AMX-10RCs would possibly perchance be at the cutting edge.

The AMX-10RC’s flee isn’t dazzling a ingredient of its lightness, sturdy suspension and 280-horsepower diesel engine. Yes, an AMX-10RC can flee along a avenue at 53 miles per hour.

But it’s the automobile’s simplicity, reliability and fuel efficiency—500 miles on a single tank of diesel—that enable a unit organized round AMX-10RCs to switch long distances, hasty.

Mediate about that, when the U.S. Navy’s 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Group, 1st Infantry Division organized a avenue march between two coaching ranges in Germany in 2018, it took the 700-automobile convoy three days to quilt 50 miles.

To be dazzling to the 2nd ABCT, it became as soon as touring along German highways and respecting day to day Germans motoring along the identical roads.

Tranquil, the brigade had to take care of the total issues you’d quiz while coordinating a complete bunch of 70-ton tanks and 40-ton infantry combating vehicles in mixed formations. Tanks and IFVs are heavy, advanced machines. They spoil down.

Compare the 2nd ABCT’s avenue march to the chronicle avenue march the French navy’s AMX-10RC-equipped 1st Marine Infantry Regiment accomplished in Mali in 2013. Speeding to intervene as Islamists threatened the impoverished Central African nation, the regiment lined 250 miles in six days.

That’s a tempo in the case of 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 would possibly perchance perchance well presumably quilt 150 miles—the gap from free Zaporizhzhia to occupied northern Kherson Oblast—in three or four days.

For optimistic, the Ukrainian brigade first would want to interrupt by Russian defenses south of Zaporizhzhia. That would possibly perchance perchance well presumably also force commanders to send in tanks for the preliminary combating, earlier than loosing the AMX-10RCs to drag toward Kherson and Crimea.

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