AMX 13/90

The AMX-13 is a French light tank produced from 1953 to 1985. 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, 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. Including prototypes and export versions, there are over a hundred variants including self-propelled guns, 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.

AMX 13/90
Class Vehicle
Type Infantry Combat Vehicle
Manufacturer Atelier de Construction Roanne
Production Period 1952 - 1978
Origin France
Country Name Origin Year
France 1952
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Argentina View
Cambodia (Kampuchea) View
Djibouti View
Ecuador View
France View
Indonesia View
Ivory Coast View
Kuwait View
Mexico View
Nepal View
Peru View
Singapore View
Tunisia View
Venezuela View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Atelier de Construction Roanne 1952 1978 7700 View

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 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 fed with an automatic loading system in two six-round magazines located in the turret's bustle. The 12 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 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.

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 105 mm 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).

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.

DesignationsAMX-13 with 90mm Gun
Manufacturer(s)Atelier de Construction Roanne (ARE)
StatusProduction completed. Phased out of service with France.
Production Period1952-1987 (1)Production Quantity7700 (1)
Typelight tankCrew3
Length, overall6.4mLength, hull4.9m
Width, overall2.5mHeight, overall2.3m
Combat Weight15000kgUnloaded Weight13000kg
Radio, externaln/aCommunication, crewn/a
Main Armament90mm rifled gunAmmunition Carried32x90mm
Gun Traverse360°Elevation/Depression+12.5°/-5°
Traverse Rate30°/sElevation Rate5°/s
Gun StabilizationnoneRangefindernone
Night VisionyesAuto-Loadersemi-automatic
Secondary Armament7.5mm MG (coaxial)
7.5mm MG (AA)
Ammunition Carried3600x7.5mm

EngineSofam 8Gxb 8-cylinder water-cooled, petrolTransmissionmanual 5 forward, 1 reverse
Horsepower250hp at 3200rpmSuspensiontorsion bar
Power/Weight Ratio16.7hp/tTrack Width35.0cm
Speed, on road60km/hTrack Ground Contact299.7cm
Fuel Capacity480 lGround Pressure0.76kg/cm2
Range, on road400kmGradient60%
Fuel Consumption120 l/100kmVertical Obstacle0.7m
Turning RadiusskidTrench Crossing1.6m
Ground Clearancen/aFording0.6m
Smoke Laying2 x 2 smoke grenade dischargersNBC Protectionnone
Armor DetailsArmour upgrades are available. Armor thickness, hull: 15mm@55 (front); 20mm (sides); 15mm (rear); 10mm (top and floor). Turret: 25mm@45 (front); 25mm (side and rear); 10mm (roof)

(1) Production period noted refers to the entire AMX-13 family. Total production includes all variants of the AMX-13 family.

End notes