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AMX-40 prototype at the Musée des Blindés at Saumur
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin  France
Weight 43 t (42 long tons; 47 short tons)
Length 10.0 m (32 ft 10 in) (with gun barrel), 6.8 m (22 ft 4 in) body
Width 3.36 m (11 ft 0 in)
Height 2.38 m (7 ft 10 in)
Crew 4

120 millimetre calibre smoothbore gun
7.62 mm machine gun, 20 mm autocannon
Engine Poyaud V12X diesel engine
1,100 horsepower (820 kW)
Power/weight 25.6 hp/ton
Suspension torsion bar
600 km (370 mi)
Speed 70 km/h (43 mph)

The AMX-40 was a French prototype main battle tank.

History[edit | edit source]

Early History[edit | edit source]

In the early 1980s came the next in the GIAT manufactured, export-driven AMX series. As the AMX-32 had failed to attract any potential sales, the company 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 of that year. Two further prototypes were produced in 1984; the last, fourth, 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. In 1990 it was no longer offered for export.

Configuration[edit | edit source]

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 optionally 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 five to six, compared to the AMX-32.

Construction[edit | edit source]

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 also called the AMX-40.

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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