A Ukrainian military official has claimed that the AMX-10RC light tanks supplied by France are unsuitable for combat operations on the frontline.
Using the pseudonym “Major Spartanets,” the 37th Naval Infantry Brigade battalion commander said the armored vehicles were ineffective for frontline attacks due to their thin armor.
He further stated that the tanks were easily penetrated by artillery shells fired by Russian forces.
“They are used for supporting fire because of their light armor. Their armament is good, and their observation instruments are very good. But unfortunately, it’s light armor, which makes them unsuitable,” Spartanets explained.
The commander’s open criticism came after a video showing an abandoned AMX-10RC struck by Russian forces went viral on social media.
The footage reportedly exposed the vulnerability of the French light tank.
Russian troops captured a French wheeled tank AMX-10RC, abandoned by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Ugledar direction with full ammunition. pic.twitter.com/Oa68J8yRdo
— Milopotamus (@Xifidion) July 2, 2023
In January this year, French President Emmanuel Macron announced plans to send an unspecified number of AMX-10 RCs to the Ukrainian military to help combat Russian aggression.
However, the light tanks apparently failed to live up to the hype as their thin armor is proving to be a major weakness in a “high-intensity” war.
Major Spartanets revealed that there were some cases where a 152-millimeter shell exploded nearby the tank and the shrapnel pierced its armor.
“A shell exploded next to the vehicle, the fragments pierced the armor and the stock of ammunition (on board) was detonated,” he said. “The crew of four, unfortunately, remained inside; they were killed in the armored vehicle.”
Additionally, some AMX-10 RCs also had problems with their gearboxes – a problem attributed to the vehicle being unsuitable on dirt roads.
“Sending these vehicles to be destroyed is pointless because it is a risk mainly for the crew,” the commander said.