Last updated on February 19th, 2019 at 09:07 pm
The AMX-30 main battle tank entered service in France the 1960s and has been exported to many different countries since then. While It is no longer being produced, it remains in service in France and elsewhere.
In 1957, France and Germany embarked on a joint project to create a European tank, known as the Europa Panzer, that would be comparable to American and British medium tanks. Italy joined this project in 1958.
Because the three countries had different priorities, conflicts developed. Eventually, the project was cancelled.
Italy, Germany and France decided to pursue tank development separately.
Instead of building a new main battle tank, Italy purchased M60 Patton Main Battle tanks from America.
West Germany and France began building their own tanks – Germany’s Leopard I and the France’s AMX-30.
The first prototype of the AMX-30 main battle tank was completed 1960. The first production model, the AMX-30B, entered production in 1966, the same year that France withdrew from NATO. (France rejoined NATO in 2009.)
The AMX-30 main battle tank entered service in 1967.
It has a cast and welded hull and a turret that is cast in one piece.
The AMX-30 was designed more for mobility than for protection. Therefore, its armor is relatively light for an MBT – only 3.15 inches (80mm) maximum.
There is a torsion bar suspension, with five pairs of road wheels and five track-return rollers. The idler is at the front and the drive sprocket is at the rear.
Main armament on the AMX-30 MBT is a 4.13 inch (105mm) main gun with a thermal sleeve.
There is also a 0.79 inch (20mm) coaxial cannon or a 0.5 inch (12.7mm ) coaxial machine gun, located to the left of the main gun. The coaxial cannon or machine gun can be elevated independently of the main gun, up to a 45 degree angle, so it can be used against slow-moving planes and helicopters.
A 0.3 inch (7.62mm) anti-aircraft gun is located on the commander’s cupola. It can be fired from inside the turret.
There are two pairs of smoke grenade dischargers.
A four man-crew – driver, commander, gunner and loader – operates the AMX-30 main battle tank.
The driver sits in the front of the hull, on the left side. The commander and gunner sit in the right side of the turret, and the loader sits in the left side of the turret.
The engine and transmission are at the rear of the tank.
The AMX-30 has infrared night vision and an NBC system.
Many variants of the AMX-30 have been built..
Later upgrades have better engines and explosive reactive armor.
Variants include a bridgelayer, a minesweeper, a combat engineering tractor, a self-propelled howitzer, a self-propelled anti-aircraft system, an anti-aircraft missile system and a nuclear missile launcher.
The AMX-30 main battle tank has been exported to Spain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bosnia, Cyprus, Greece, Chile, Venezuela, Spain and Croatia.
It has been built in Spain under license.
Model AMX-30S, which was adapted for desert use, was exported to Saudi Arabia.
Over 3,500 AMX-30 MBTs have been built.
The AMX-30 Main Battle Tank was used by France, Saudi Arabia and Qatar during the 1990/1991 Gulf War.
AMX-30 Main Battle Tank
|Weight:||35 tons (36,000kg)|
|Length:||21ft 7in (6.59m), 31ft 1in (9.48m) with gun forwards|
|Height:||7ft 6in (2.29m)|
|Width:||10ft 2in (3.1m)|
|Weapons:||Main – 4.13in (105mm) gun, Secondary – 0.79in (20mm) coaxial cannon or 0.5in (12.7mm) coaxial machine gun, 0.3in (7.62mm) anti-aircraft gun, 2 pairs of smoke grenade dischargers|
|Armor||Maximum – 3.15in (80mm)|
|Engine:||Hispano Suiza HS 110 12-cylinder water-cooled supercharged multi-fuel, 720hp|
|Speed:||40 mph (65kph)|
|Range:||373 miles (600 km)|