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Light tank

AMX-13 light tank

The AMX-13 light tank was developed after the WWII but it still operational today

Country of origin France
Entered service 1953
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 15 t
Length (gun forward) 6.36 m
Hull length 4.88 m
Width 2.5 m
Height 2.3 m
Main gun 90 mm
Machine guns 7.5 mm or 7.62 mm
Elevation range - 6 to + 13 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 34 rounds
Machine guns 3 600 x 7.5 mm or 7.62 mm
Engine SOFAM 8Gxb petrol
Engine power 250 hp
Maximum road speed 60 km/h
Range 400 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 60%
Vertical step 0.65 m
Trench 1.6 m
Fording 0.6 m


   Development of the AMX-13 light tank started after the World War II. Production began in 1953 and ceased in 1987. There were built about 4 000 AMX-13 light tanks of all variants for the French Army and export customers. Other sources claim that 4 300 of these light tanks were built for the French Army and another 3 400 were exported. This tank has been exported to 25 countries. French Army retired AMX-13 tanks in the 1970s. However a large number of exported tanks are still operational today. Currently it is in service with over 10 countries.

   The AMX-13 light tank had a number of unusual solutions for tanks of that period. It was intended to support airborne troops and is air transportable.

   Hull and turret of the AMX-13 light tank are welded from armored steel plates 20-40 mm thick. A front-mounted engine provides additional protection. It is worth mentioning that the AMX-13 lacks NBC protection system.

   Turret of the AMX-13 has an unusual oscillating design. It is made from two parts. Lower part moves horizontally, while the upper part moves with the main gun vertically. The main 90 mm gun has an autoloader and is fed from two revolving magazines, each holding 6 rounds. Magazines are located in the turret bustle. Ammunition is loaded through the turret roof and cases are ejected through an opening located in the rear of the turret. Autoloader provides the AMX-13 with a rate of fire in 10 rounds per minute, furthermore it allowed to reduce crew to three members.

   The AMX-13 was fitted with various turrets:

   The FL-10 turret with a 75 mm gun. It was initial production model. This 75 mm gun was based on the German L/71 Panther gun. This variant is sometimes referred as the AMX-13 Model 51 or AMX-51. Vehicle carries 37 rounds. At a range of 2 km it could penetrate armor 170 mm thick. Since 1966 the FL-10 turret was fitted with a mo powerful 90 mm gun in 1966. Ammunition carried was reduced to 34 rounds.

   The FL-11 turret with a 75 mm shortened gun. AMX-13 light tanks with such turrets were operated by French colonies.

   The FL-12 turret with a 105 mm main gun. It used the same munitions as the AMX-30 main battle tank. At a range of 2 km it could penetrate armor 360 mm thick. Ammunition load was further reduced.

   The FL-15 turret developed in 1983 was a further development of the FL-12. It had a new fire control system.

   Secondary armament of the AMX-13 was a 7.5 mm coaxial machine gun, which was later replaced by a 7.62 mm machine gun. In 1960 some of the AMX-13 light tanks, intended to support infantry troops were fitted with four SS.11 anti-tank guided missiles, mounted near the main gun. There was also variant , fitted with six HOT anti-tank missiles.

   Vehicle has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver.

   The AMX-13 is powered by SOFAM Model 8Gbx petrol engine, developing 250 horsepower.

   Despite its age the AMX-13 is still widely used by export operators.

   Export users are upgrading their tanks to extend their service lives. A number of countries developed indigenous upgrade programs for the AMX-13. Surviving tanks are fitted with new fire control systems. Petrol engines are replaced for the diesel ones. Armor protection is being increased.




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AMX-13 light tank

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AMX-13 light tank

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AMX-13 light tank

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AMX-13 light tank

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AMX-13 light tank

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