AMX-40 prototype at the Musée des Blindés at Saumur
|Type||Main battle tank|
|Place of origin||France|
|Manufacturer||AMX-APX and GIAT|
|Weight||43.7 t (43.0 long tons; 48.2 short tons)|
|Length||10.04 m (32 ft 11 in) (with gun barrel), 6.8 m (22 ft 4 in) hull|
3.18 m (10 ft 5 in)3.36 m (11 ft 0 in) (with side skirts)
|Height||2.38 m (7 ft 10 in)|
|120 mm GIAT G1 smoothbore gun (L/52) (40 rounds)|
1 x 20 mm M693 autocannon with 578 rounds2 x 7.62 mm ANF1 machine guns (2170 rounds)
|Engine||Poyaud V12X diesel engine
1,100 horsepower (820 kW)
|Transmission||ZF LSG 300|
|Suspension||torsion bar with rotary shock absorbers|
|Fuel capacity||1300 ℓ|
|600 km (370 mi)|
|Speed||70 km/h (43 mph)|
As the AMX-32 had failed to attract any potential sales, GIAT decided to produce yet another upgrade; this was the AMX-40 Main Battle Tank. The development of the AMX-40 began in 1980 as a clean sheet design. In 1983, the first prototype was finished and presented at the Satory Exhibition that year. Two further prototypes were produced in 1984; the fourth and last one was fabricated in 1985. The design was not intended for service in France, but as a successor to the AMX-32, the improved export version of the AMX-30. However, the efforts to obtain foreign orders failed, the most serious potential customer to have considered the design being Spain. It ceased being offered for export in 1990.
The tank was of fairly standard configuration, with the driver at the front, the turret in the center, housing a gunner, commander and loader, and the engine at the rear. Its armament consisted of a 120 millimetre calibre smoothbore gun, with an optional coaxial 20 millimetre calibre F2 autocannon. The fire control system was the COTAC also used for the AMX 30 B2. As its dimensions were rather small: 6.8 metres (22 ft 4 in) long, 3.36 m (11 ft 0 in) wide and 2.38 m (7 ft 10 in) high at the turret roof, the ammunition load was limited to just 35 rounds. The tank was powered by a 1,100 horsepower (820 kW) Poyaud V12X diesel engine coupled to an automatic ZF transmission. The number of road wheels per side was increased from the five used on the AMX-32 to six.
The weight was limited to 43 metric tonnes. Though this, in combination with the powerful engine, ensured an excellent mobility, with 70 kilometres per hour (43 mph) maximum road speed and 50 km/h (31 mph) cross country speed, and a low operating cost, it limited protection. The front armour utilised laminated and perforated steel and protected against 100 millimetres (3.9 in) HEAT and APDS ammunition. Such 400 to 450 mm (15.7 to 17.7 in) RHA equivalency would have been considered quite formidable in 1980; in the late eighties, it had become substandard due to missile and ammunition developments.
The type should not be confused with the pre-war experimental medium tank that was also called the AMX-40.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to AMX-40 tanks.|
- "AMX-40". Chars Et Blindés Français.
- Military Today - AMX-40
- Forty, George. "The Illustrated Guide to Tanks of the World." Hermes House. 2005.