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AMX-13 on display
|Place of origin||France|
|Designer||Atelier de Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux|
|Manufacturer||Atelier de Construction Roanne|
|Produced||1952 – 1987|
|Number built||7,700 (Total)
4,300 (Used in French military)
|Weight||13.7 t (30,000 lb) empty
14.5 t (32,000 lb) combat
|Length||4.88 m (16 ft 0 in) hull
6.36 m (20 ft 10 in) with gun
|Width||2.51 m (8 ft 3 in)|
|Height||2.35 m (7 ft 9 in)|
|Crew||3 (Commander, gunner and driver)|
|Armour||10–40 mm (0.39–1.6 in)|
|75 mm (or 90 mm or 105 mm) with 32 Rounds|
|7.5 mm (or 7.62 mm) coaxial MG with 3,600 Rounds, 7.62 mm AA MG (optional), 2×2 smoke grenade dischargers|
|Engine||SOFAM Model 8Gxb 8-cyl. water-cooled petrol
250 hp (190 kW)
|Suspension||Torsion bar suspension|
|400 km (250 mi)|
|Speed||60 km/h (37 mph)|
The AMX-13 is a French light tank produced from 1953 to 1985. It served with the French Army and was exported to over twenty-five other nations. Named after its initial weight of 13 tonnes, and featuring a tough and reliable chassis, it was fitted with an oscillating turret built by GIAT Industries (now Nexter) with revolver type magazines which was also used on the Austrian SK-105 Kürassier. Including prototypes and export versions there are over a hundred variants including self-propelled gun, anti-aircraft systems, APCs, and ATGM versions. Total production of the AMX-13 family is approximately 7,700 units, around 3,400 of which were exported.
The tank was designed at the Atelier de Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux in 1946 to meet a requirement for an air-portable vehicle to support paratroopers, the first prototype ran from 1948. The compact chassis had torsion bar suspension with five road-wheels and two return rollers; the engine runs the length of the tank on the right side with the driver on the left. It features an uncommon two-part oscillating turret where the gun is fixed to the turret and the entire upper turret changes elevation. The turret is set to the rear of the vehicle and holds the commander and gunner. The original 75 mm gun, allegedly modelled on the German 7.5 cm KwK 42 L/70 gun (used, among others, in the Panther tank) but firing very different ammunition from a shorter barrel, was fed with an automatic loading system in two six-round magazines located in the turret's bustle. The twelve rounds available in the loaders meant that the crew could engage targets quickly, however once those rounds were expended the vehicle had to retreat to cover and the crew reload shells from outside the vehicle.
Production began at ARE (Atelier de Construction Roanne) from 1952, with the first tanks delivered the following year. In 1964 production was transferred to Creusot-Loire at Chalon-sur-Saône, as the ARE moved to building the AMX 30 MBT, and the numbers produced declined significantly.
From 1966 the 75mm high-velocity gun was replaced by a 90 mm (the AMX-13/90) medium velocity gun firing more effective HEAT ammunition, with the French upgrading all existing base models to this specification. By the early 1970s export models were available with an even more potent 105mm gun. Although there were many variants on the turret the basic chassis was almost unchanged until 1985 when changes including a new diesel engine, fully automatic transmission and new hydropneumatic suspension were introduced.
Production halted with the Model 1987. After sales support and upgrades are still offered through GIAT Industries (now Nexter).
Additional characteristics 
- Ground clearance: 370 mm (15 in)
- Fording: 600 mm (24 in)
- Vertical obstacle 650 mm (26 in)
- Trench: 1.6 m (5 ft 3 in)
- Gradient 60%
- Side slope: 60%
- NBC system: None
- Night vision: Optional
- Char AMX-13 (2A)
- Prototype with 4 roadwheels and trailing idler
- Char AMX-13 (2B)
- Prototype with 5 roadwheels and raised idler
- Char AMX-13 (2C)
- Prototype with FL-10 turret and two support rollers
- Char AMX-13 (2D)
- Prototype with 4 support rollers
- Char AMX-13 (2E)
- Prototype with 3 support rollers and 90 mm gun
- Char AMX-13 (2F)
- Prototype with 2 support rollers and, later, a thermal sleeve
Other prototypes 
- AMX-13 avec tourelle
- A14 Fitted with German HS-30 turret
- Fitted with 105 mm howitzer barrel
- AMX-13/75 (AMX-13e)
- Experimental variant with short-barreled 75 mm in FL-11 turret
- Char AMX-13 avec Canon 57 L/100
- Prototype with special gun
- AMX-13 Twin 20 mm in welded turret without bustle
- Char 48FCM
- AKA Char 12T FCM, DCA de Quatre Canons de 20 mm—4 x 20 mm cannon in FL-4 turret
- DCA de 40 mm
- AKA Char 13T DCA a 40 mm Bofors L/70 gun in large faceted turret
- AMX-13 GTI
- Improved suspension by Krauss-Maffei
- AMX-13 THS
- Prototype fitted with hydrostatic transmission
- Fitted with Rapace 14 MBRL
- AMX-13 HOT
- Fitted with HOT ATGM launchers
Production variants 
- Some initial vehicles were fitted with the turret of the M24 Chaffee
- AMX-13 [DTT]
- Initial vehicles with the turret of the M24 Chaffee converted into a driver training tank. Gun removed.
- AMX-13/75 Modèle 51
- High-velocity 75 mm Gun in FL-11 turret as installed in Panhard EBR armoured car and 2 top rollers
- AMX-13/75 Modèle 51
- High-velocity 75 mm Gun in FL-11 turret and 4 top rollers and revised stowage
- AMX-13 T75 (Char Lance SS-11)
- Fitted with SS.11 ATGM launchers
- AMX-13 T75 avec TCA
- Fitted with an electronic guidance system for the missiles
- AMX-13/90 Modèle 52
- FL-10 turret refitted with the F3 90 mm gun
- AMX-13/90 LRF
- Fitted with laser rangefinder
- AMX-13/105 Modèle 58
- Fitted with 105 Gun mm in FL-12 turret (used by the Argentine Army and the Netherlands)
- Upgraded export version of the Modele 58 with thermal sleeve and revised hull front
- AMX-13 Model 1987
- Late production version
- AMX-13 DCA 30
- SPAAG version with retractable radar fitted, 60 produced starting in 1969
- AMX-13 [Training Tank]
- AMX-13 with turret removed and used for driver training
- AMX-13 Modèle 55 (AMX-D)
- Recovery version
- AMX-13 PDP (Poseur De Pont) Modèle 51
- Scissors-type bridgelayer
Modernisation packages 
- Cockerill 90 mm Regunning Packaging: 90 mm upgunning package
- Giat Industries upgrade with a Baudouin 6F 11 SRY diesel engine and an upgraded turret.
- Giat Industries Add-on Armour package installed on turret front/sides and glacis plate
- NIMDA Upgrade Package: Israeli retrofit package
- AMX-13/FL-12 [Modernised] by the Netherlands: Fitted with searchlight and FN MAG machine-guns
- AMX-13/FL-15 Dutch FL-12 version refitted with an FL-15 Turret
- AMX-13S Rebuild of standard AMX-13/75 Modèle 51 (FL-11) by Singapore prior to SM-1 upgrade.
- AMX-13SM1 (Singapore Modernised 1): Singaporean upgrade with modern communications, a new diesel engine replacing the original petrol engine, improved transmissions/suspensions system, laser range-finder and night vision elbow upgrade by ST Kinetics. The 75 mm main gun remain unchanged.
- Leichter Panzer 51 Swiss Army version
- AMX-13PA5 Escorpion Proposed upgrade for a standard AMX-13/105 by the Peruvian designer Sergio Casanave, fitted with modern communications and 4 9M14-2T missiles.
- AMX-13PA8 Escorpion-2 equipped with Dante fire-control system (a ballistic computer/laser range-finder/night vision/CCTV system), four Ukrainian laser-guided Barrier R-2 antitank missiles and 7.62 mm and 12.7 mm machine-guns was also proposed.
- AMX-13V CLI upgraded AMX-13/90 for Venezuelan Army
- AMX-13 [LAR-160] Venezuelan MLRS version armed with IMI LAR-160 mm. rockets
- AMX-13M51 Ráfaga Venezuelan Army's AA version armed with two 40 mm cannons mounted on an M-4E1 turret
Self propelled howitzer 
- 105 mm
- AMX Mk 61 (AMX-105A) Automoteur de 105 du AMX-13 en casemate: 105 mm casemate SP
- AMX Mk 61 (Netherlands) Dutch Army version with 30 calibre howitzer and Browning commander's MG
- AMX Mk 62 (AMX-105B) Prototype with 105 mm howitzer in a turret
- AMX Mk 63 (AMX-105B, AMX Mk F2) Prototype of Mk 62 with MG cupola fitted to turret
- 155 mm
- AMX Mk F3 (Obusier de 155 mm sur affut automoteur AMX-13 T, AMX-155) 155 mm SPH
- Argentina - 24 AMX Mk F3 155 mm self-propelled howitzer version
- Cambodia - 12
- Ivory Coast - 5
- Djibouti - 60
- Ecuador - 102
- Indonesia - 500
- Kuwait - ?
- Mexico - 409 AMX-VCI
- Nepal - ?
- Peru - 210
- Singapore - 350 AMX-13/SM1 (ex-IDF machines, locally upgraded and modernised, phasing out)
- Tunisia - ?
- Venezuela - 36 AMX-13C.90
- Algeria - ?
- Austria - ?
- Argentina - 60 AMX-13/105 FL-12 received currently in storage
- Belgium - ?
- Chile - 12 AMX Mk F3 155 mm self-propelled howitzer version
- Dominican Republic - 15
- Egypt - ?(Also bought its turret to upgraded existing M4 Sherman)
- El Salvador - 12 ordered, but no evidence that they were ever delivered.
- France - The AMX-13 tank was phased out of service with the French Army in the 1970s.
- Guatemala - 12
- India - Indian Army used AMX-13 Tanks against Pakistan in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. A couple of AMX-13 Tanks were captured in operational condition by Pakistani Army.
- Israel - Retired and sold to Singapore in 1969.
- Lebanon - 35 in service with the Lebanese Army in 1976, passed on to the Kataeb Regulatory Forces militia, Tigers Militia (Lebanon), Amal Movement, Al-Murabitun, Army of Free Lebanon, Lebanese Arab Army, Lebanese Forces, South Lebanon Army.
- Morocco - Replaced by SK-105 Kurassier.
- Netherlands - 131
- Polisario, - ? (Captured to Morocco in the Western Sahara War).
- Switzerland - 200 AMX-13 introduced as Light Tank 51 (Leichter Panzer 51) between 1952 and 1954. Served in light tank battalions till 1961 and then as recon vehicles with recon battalions till the last ones were phased out in 1980. Four howitzer variants purchased for trials in 1962-64; not introduced into service.
See also 
- The complete guide to tanks and armoured fighting vehicles, ISBN 978-1-84681-110-4
- Hogg, Ian (2000). Twentieth-Century Artillery. Barnes & Noble Books. p. 250. ISBN 978-0-7607-1994-7.
- "Official AM-13SM1 Brochure". Retrieved 2008-11-17.
- Marruecos perdió un batallón y cuatrocientas toneladas de armamento en la batalla de Mahbes El País, 28-10-1979.
- Panzermuseum Thun, informational plaque, 2008.
- Further reading
- Offord, Colonel E. F. (1967). AMX.13. Armour in Profile. Profile Publications. Nº 12.
- Lau, Peter (2006). The AMX-13 Light Tank. Volume 1: Chassis. Rock Publications.
- Lau, Peter (2007). The AMX-13 Light Tank. Volume 2: Turret. Rock Publications.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: AMX-13 tanks|
- (French) Chars-francais.net