In a move that will help the French President cement his stance as a firm supporter of Ukraine in its ongoing defence against the Russian armed invasion, Emmanuel Macron told Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday that France will send light AMX-10 RC armoured combat vehicles.
A French official claimed that this is breaking new ground. “This is the first time that Western-made armoured vehicles are being delivered in support of the Ukrainian army,” the official said.
No details are available on numbers or the delivery timetable. A source close to the French military told NEWS.MC that the AMX-10 is ideal for Ukraine, fast, responsive, reliable and easy to maintain.
The French president has been seen as an outlier in Europe, frequently advocating peace through negotiations and holding talks with Putin long after other western leaders gave up on the idea.
Also on Wednesday, Zelenskiy said that France will provide air defence weapons – a critical need as Russia continues its bombardment of Ukraine civil infrastructure.
Although the AMX-10 is sometimes described as a reconnaissance vehicle, it has formidable abilities as a tank destroyer and has a road speed of up to 80 kph.
According to tanks-encyclopaedia.com, the first AMX-10 RCs entered service in 1979, and the vehicle cemented the French Army’s love for wheeled tank destroyers.
“It features a hydropneumatic suspension, which allows the driver to change the ground clearance of the vehicle. It can be varied between 21 and 60 cm, the choice depending on the type of the ground the vehicle is on. The suspension can also be used to tilt the vehicle forward, backward or to the side, as required by the tactical necessities. The vehicle does not have any steering wheels, instead using skid steering. The principle is similar to how a tank turns, with the wheels on one side turning faster or slower to turn the vehicle.”
FILE PHOTO: AMX-10 RC armoured combat vehicle