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Russian Military Seizes ‘Fully Functional’ French-Origin AMX-10RC Light Tank In Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Region

The Russian military has reportedly seized an undamaged French-origin AMX-10RC armored vehicle amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, according to multiple reports.

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The visuals show Russian troops successfully recovering the AMX-10RC before loading it onto a KamAZ-65225 Tank Transporter. 

According to the reports, the armored vehicle retrieved by the Russian army was abandoned by Ukrainian troops in the Zaporizhzhia region in early June. Ria Novosti, the Russian state-owned media agency, has also confirmed that the Russian Armed Forces have recovered a French AMX-10RC in the Zaporizhzhia region. 

Vladimir Rogov, the head of the Zaporizhzhia public movement, informed RIA Novosti, “The Russian military captured the French AMX-10RC (which is sometimes also referred to as a light tank) in the Zaporizhzhia region.”

French-supplied Ukrainian AMX-10RC armored vehicle captured by Russian forces.

Rogov revealed that their fighters captured the French-wheeled light tank AMX-10RC in good condition. To be more precise, the tank was found to be in nearly perfect condition, with no visible signs of damage. 

Highlighting the significance of this capture, Rogov revealed that plans are underway to send the tank to specialized experts in the defense industry for an in-depth study and analysis. 

This decision is potentially aimed at acquiring valuable insights and advancing their comprehension of this specific light tank model, including its capabilities and vulnerabilities.

At present, Russian defense experts are actively investigating six distinct types of Western combat vehicles, originating from NATO countries, including France, Germany, and the United States, that the Russian military has captured.

Furthermore, a team of researchers at Kurganmashzavod, a Russian manufacturing company renowned for its military vehicle expertise, is already analyzing Western technology to assess its vulnerabilities and advantages.

French AMX-10RC Light Tanks In Ukraine War

In January 2023, French President Emmanuel Macron officially announced the allocation of AMX-10 RC light tanks to the Ukrainian armed forces, marking a significant milestone as these were the first Western-made tanks to be provided to Ukraine. 

The move was met with great interest, signaling strengthened support for Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict.

Building upon this commitment, French Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu further confirmed the delivery of the first batch of AMX-10 RC armored vehicles to Ukraine in March. 

Although the number of tanks remained unspecified, the delivery came at a crucial time when speculations about a substantial Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia were in the air.

But the Ukrainian military reluctantly refers to these vehicles as tanks, given that the AMX-10RC boasts wheels and relatively light armor. 

AMX-10 RC – Wikipedia

During the counteroffensive, the Ukrainian command employed these French-wheeled armored vehicles as tanks, hoping they would prove effective in combat situations. 

However, it quickly became apparent that their capabilities fell short of expectations, raising questions about their suitability for intense and challenging battle scenarios. 

Earlier, The EurAsian Times published an in-depth report revealing the vulnerability of these vehicles. The report highlighted incidents where 152mm Russian shells detonated in close proximity, leading to shrapnel piercing these vehicles. 

Another reason behind the Ukrainian military’s hesitation to label the AMX tank is the fragility of its wheeled platform when compared to the more robust tracked platforms typically utilized in conventional tanks.

In a recent interview, a Ukrainian soldier described the nature of the ongoing conflict as an artillery war, where the enemy often remains unseen, but their impact is felt through relentless barrages of mortars and artillery. 

The soldier went on to highlight the weakness of the AMX-10RC tank, adding that its wheels are a weak point and an easy target for enemy fire. 

He explained that when hit by fragments, the tank’s wheels are swiftly disabled, severely compromising its speed, maneuverability, and advantages, rendering it less effective in combat.

Despite its drawbacks, the AMX-10RC’s powerful gun is a notable asset for Ukrainian soldiers, enabling them to operate effectively from concealed positions. This, combined with the maneuverability and speed characteristic of the French vehicle, has garnered favor among Ukrainian marines units.

That being said, the Russian military’s seizure of the AMX-10RC armored vehicle presents an opportunity for Moscow to conduct a thorough study and gain valuable intelligence on its functionality. 

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