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Israeli AMX-13 on display at "Yad La-Shiryon" armor museum
TypeLight tank
Place of originFrance
Service history
WarsSuez Crisis
Algerian War
Sand War
Dominican Civil War
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Six-Day War
Yom Kippur War
Western Sahara War
Lebanese Civil War
Production history
DesignerAtelier de Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux
ManufacturerAtelier de Construction Roanne
No. built7,700 (Total)
3,400 (Exported)
4,300 (Used in French military)
Weight13.7 t (30,000 lb) empty
14.5 t (32,000 lb) combat
Length6.36 m (20 ft 10 in) with gun
4.88 m (16 ft 0 in) hull
Width2.51 m (8 ft 3 in)
Height2.35 m (7 ft 9 in)
Crew3 (Commander, gunner and driver)

Armour10–40 mm (0.39–1.57 in)
75 mm SA 50 tank gun (or 90 mm or 105 mm) with 32 Rounds
1× 7.5 mm (or 7.62 mm) coaxial machine gun with 3,600 Rounds
1× 7.62 mm AA machine gun (optional)
2× 2 smoke grenade dischargers
EngineSOFAM Model 8Gxb 8-cylinder water-cooled petrol engine
250 hp (190 kW)
Power/weight17 hp/tonne
SuspensionTorsion bar suspension
400 km (250 mi)
Speed60 km/h (37 mph)

The AMX-13 is a French light tank produced from 1952 to 1987. It served with the French Army, as the Char 13t-75 Modèle 51, and was exported to more than 25 other nations. Named after its initial weight of 13 tonnes, and featuring a tough and reliable chassis,[1] it was fitted with an oscillating turret built by GIAT Industries (now Nexter) with revolver type magazines, which were also used on the Austrian SK-105 Kürassier.[1] Including prototypes and export versions, there are over a hundred variants including self-propelled guns, anti-aircraft systems, APCs, and ATGM versions.


The tank was designed at the Atelier de Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux (AMX) 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 FL-10 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 was loaded by an automatic loading system fed by two six-round magazines located in on either side of the automatic loader in the turret's bustle. The 12 rounds available in the drum magazines meant that the crew could engage targets quickly; however, once those rounds were expended, the vehicle had to retreat to cover and the crew had to reload shells from outside the vehicle.

Production began at ARE (Atelier de Construction Roanne) in 1952, with the first tanks delivered the following year. In 1964, production was transferred to Creusot-Loire at Chalon-sur-Saône, as ARE switched to the production of the AMX 30 MBT, and the numbers produced declined significantly.

After 1966, AMX-13s in French service were up-gunned with a 90mm F3 medium pressure gun firing more effective high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) munitions; this variant was designated AMX-13/90.[2] The F3 was similar to the DEFA D921/F1 low pressure gun developed for the Panhard AML-90, and even utilized the same ammunition, though it possessed a significantly higher muzzle velocity.[3] By the late 1960s, an export model of the AMX-13 was also available with an even larger 105mm gun in a FL-12 turret.[2]

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 AMX-13 Model 1987. After sales support and upgrades are still offered through GIAT Industries (now Nexter).

The AMX-13 tank was phased out of service with the French Army in the 1980s. Current French armoured vehicles with a similar role are the ERC 90 Sagaie and the AMX 10 RC.

Additional characteristics[edit]

Close view of oscillating turret
  • 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

Service history[edit]


During the Suez Crisis of 1956, the French Army used two sections of the 2nd Foreign Cavalry Regiment's AMX-13 tanks in Port Fouad. The AMX-13s also saw limited action in the Algerian War.[4]

Decommissioned Israeli AMX-13

Dominican Republic[edit]

AMX-13s saw service among both the loyalists and the rebels during the Dominican Civil War of 1965. Two AMX-13s used by the rebel forces were destroyed by M50 Ontos of the United States Marine Corps during the subsequent American intervention in the Dominican Republic.


The AMX 13 was Israel's first modern tank and was purchased at a time when France was the only country willing to openly sell arms to Israel. By 1956, Israel had received 180 AMX-13 light tanks as part of an agreement to reinforce Israel's military and to maintain the balance in Israel's favour after the Egyptian–Czechoslovak arms agreement. Due to the shortage of tanks, the IDF used them as main battle tanks and employed them to form a tank battalion in the 7th Armored Brigade. IDF reconnaissance units did not use AMX 13s.

By 1967, Israel had acquired about 400 AMX-13s and formed three AMX-13 battalions, all of which fought actively on all fronts during the Six-Day War.

  • The first moved south in the West Bank area through Taluzi and Tubas and occupied Nablus (against Jordan).
  • The second captured the strongpoints protecting the Gaza Strip and the coastal road in the north of the Sinai Peninsula (against Egypt).
  • The third assaulted the Golan Heights (against Syria).

The IDF realised that the AMX-13 tank was too lightly-armoured and had a weak main gun. Losses were heavy at places like Rafah Junction and Jiradi Pass during the Six-Day War. Subsequently, the IDF completely phased out the AMX-13 from its inventory and sold them to the Singapore Army in 1969.


During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the Pakistan Army's 1st Armored Division (with 264 US-built tanks) was blunted at the Battle of Asal Uttar on September 10, 1965. Pakistani forces were opposed by three Indian armoured regiments: the Deccan Horse, 3 Cavalry, and 8 Cavalry. Only the 8 Cavalry had AMX-13s. The Indian regiments withdrew but then deployed their tanks into a U-shaped formation around the town of Asal Uttar. The tall sugarcane grass in the area allowed the Indian tanks to remain hidden. Eventually, about 100 Pakistani tanks were either destroyed or captured by India, while India lost only 10 tanks during this battle.[5][6]


Lebanese AMX-13s saw extensive service during the Lebanese Civil War in the hands of the Lebanese Army and various armed groups in and outside Beirut between 1975 and 1990, following the collapse of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) structure in January 1976, and later again in February 1984 in the wake of the Mountain War. During this period, most of the regular Army's AMX-13s fell into the hands of the competing Christian-rightist Lebanese Front and Muslim-leftist Lebanese National Movement (LNM) militias or were taken way by dissident rebellious Lebanese Army factions. France later delivered additional AMX-13s to the Lebanese Army between 1978 and 1981.[7] Captured AMX-13s were employed by the Lebanese Arab Army (LAA),[8] Army of Free Lebanon (AFL),[9] Kataeb Regulatory Forces (KRF), Tigers Militia, Lebanese Forces (LF), South Lebanon Army (SLA), Amal Movement, and the People's Liberation Army (PLA).[10] Nearly all AMX-13s were returned by the demobilized militias to the Lebanese Army in 1990–1993.

In July 2018, six of these withdrawn AMX-13 and various other military vehicles were used to create an artificial reef off the coast of Sidon.[11]


Morocco used some AMX-13s in the Sand War of 1963. Later on, they were engaged in the Western Sahara conflict. They were supplemented during that war by the Austrian SK-105 Kürassier light tank.


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[edit]

AMX-13 avec tourelle
A14 Fitted with a German HS-30 turret
Fitted with a 105 mm howitzer barrel
AMX-13/75 (AMX-13e)
Experimental variant with a short-barreled 75 mm in FL-11 turret
Char AMX-13 avec Canon 57 L/100
Prototype with a special gun
AMX-13 Twin 20 mm in a welded turret without a bustle
Char 48FCM
AKA Char 12T FCM, DCA de Quatre Canons de 20 mm—4 x 20 mm cannon in an FL-4 turret
DCA de 40 mm
AKA Char 13T DCA a 40 mm Bofors L/70 gun in a large faceted turret
Improved suspension by Krauss-Maffei
Prototype fitted with hydrostatic transmission
Fitted with Rapace 14 MBRL
Fitted with HOT ATGM launchers

Production variants[edit]

SS.11 anti-tank missile-launcher version of the AMX-13
AMX-13 DCA AA version
AA version of the AMX-13
The Singapore Army's AMX-13 Armoured Vehicle-Launched Bridge (AVLB)
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, with two top rollers
AMX-13/75 Modèle 51
High-velocity 75 mm Gun in FL-11 turret, with four 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 a laser rangefinder
AMX-13/105 Modèle 58
Fitted with a 105mm Gun in an FL-12 turret (used by the Argentine Army and the Netherlands)
Upgraded export version of the Modele 58 with a thermal sleeve and a revised hull front
AMX-13 Model 1987
Late production version
AMX-13 DCA 30
SPAAG version with a retractable radar fitted; 60 were produced beginning in 1969.[12]
AMX-13 [Training Tank]
AMX-13 with the turret removed; 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[edit]

  • 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
  • INDRA Amazon Fire Control System upgrade with thermal imaging and a laser rangefinder


  • AMX-13/FL-12 Dutch upgrade fitted with a searchlight and FN MAG machine guns
  • AMX-13/FL-15 Dutch FL-12 version refitted with an FL-15 Turret
The Singapore Army's AMX-13/SM-1 (Singapore Modernised 1)
  • 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.[13] The 75 mm main gun remained unchanged.[13]
  • 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 four 9M14-2T anti-tank guided 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 anti-tank missiles and 7.62 mm and 12.7 mm machine-guns were 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


The AMX-13 was the basis of a family of APCs beginning with the AMX-VTT and culminating with the AMX-VCI. The APC chassis was itself the basis of a number of variants.

Self propelled howitzer[edit]

105 mm
105mm howitzer variant 4 purchased for trials by the Swiss Army.
  • 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


This section is about operators of the AMX-13 light tank and its engineering and recovery variants. For operators of the APC derivative, see AMX-VCI. For operators of the self-propelled howitzer derivative, see Mk F3 155mm.

AMX-13 (current)[edit]

  •  Argentina: 58 AMX-13/75 and 2 AMX-13 PDP bridgelayers[2]
  •  Ecuador: 108 AMX-13/105[2]
  •  Indonesia: 175 AMX-13/105(justhalf fleet operational) and 10 AMX-13 PDP bridgelayers and Will be Replaced by Mt Kaplan[2]
  •  Morocco: 120 AMX-13/75 and 4 AMX-13 CD recovery vehicles;[2] 5 operational.[14]
  •  Peru: 108; 30 AMX-13/75 and 78 AMX-13/105[2]
  •  Venezuela: 67; 36 AMX-13/75 and 31 AMX-13/90[2]

AMX-13 (former)[edit]

See also[edit]

AMX series[edit]

Vehicles of comparable role, performance, and era[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Complete Guide to Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles, ISBN 978-1-84681-110-4[page needed]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Trade Registers". Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  3. ^ Ogorkiewicz, Richard. Technology of tanks, Volume 1 (1991 ed.). Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd. pp. 70–71. ISBN 978-0-7106-0595-5.
  4. ^ Jean Charles Auffret. "La cavalerie pendant la guerre d'Algérie - Le 1er RHP". FNCV (in French). Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  5. ^ Zaloga, Steve. The M47 and M48 Patton Tanks. Osprey Publishing, 1999. ISBN 978-1-85532-825-9.
  6. ^ Peter Wilson Prabhakar (2003). Wars, Proxy-wars and Terrorism: Post Independent India. Mittal Publications. p. 84. ISBN 978-81-7099-890-7.
  7. ^ Kassis, Véhicules Militaires au Liban/Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2012), pp. 15; 21–22.
  8. ^ Kassis (2012), p. 49.
  9. ^ AMX-13 light tank of the Army of Free Lebanon at the siege of Tel al-Zaatar, East Beirut, July 1976.
  10. ^ Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon (2003), p. 59.
  11. ^ "Fish tanks! Lebanon dumps armoured vehicles into the Mediterranean in a bid to boost marine life". Daily Mail. 28 July 2018.
  12. ^ Hogg, Ian (2000). Twentieth-Century Artillery. Barnes & Noble Books. p. 250. ISBN 978-0-7607-1994-7.
  13. ^ a b "Official AM-13SM1 Brochure" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2008-11-17.
  14. ^ Nerguizian, Aram; Cordesman, Anthony (2009). The North African Military Balance: Force Developments in the Maghreb. Washington DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies Press. pp. 25–27. ISBN 978-089206-552-3.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Kolodziej, Edward A. "Making and Marketing Arms: The French Experience and Its Implications for the International System." Princeton University Press, 2014. ISBN 1-40085-877-1. pp 48–49.
  17. ^ Piet F. van den Heuvel; Alfred Staarman. "AMX voertuigen in de Koninklijke Landmacht, 1961-1983" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 November 2013.
  • Speilberger, Walter (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.
  • Samer Kassis, 30 Years of Military Vehicles in Lebanon, Beirut: Elite Group, 2003. ISBN 9953-0-0705-5
  • Samer Kassis, Véhicules Militaires au Liban/Military Vehicles in Lebanon 1975-1981, Trebia Publishing, Chyah 2012. ISBN 978-9953-0-2372-4

External links[edit]