The AMX-40 was an abandoned French main battle tank design intended for export to succeed the equally export-minded AMX-32 series f French-produced tanks. At least four prototypes were constructed during a span from 1983 to 1985. Design of the type began in the early 1980s, eventually yielding the first pilot vehicle in 1983. This was followed a year later by a pair of further prototypes and the final evaluation vehicle was completed in 1985. In theory, the AMX-40 would have provided a cost-effective main battle tank solution that offered firepower, limited protection and above average cross-country performance to those budget-conscious military shoppers. However, limited global market interest eventually doomed the program to zero contract sales with serious interest being generated only by neighboring Spain.
At its core, the AMX-40 was a tank of highly conventional design and configuration. The vehicle was operated by standard a crew of four personnel - the driver, gunner, loader and commander. The driver maintained a front-left hull position while the remaining crew were kept within the traversing turret. The turret was situated at the center of the hull roof and brandished a long, multi-sectioned 120mm main gun barrel. The AMX-40 borrowed the same COTAC fire control system as found on the preceding AMX-30 B2 production models. The design of the turret incorporated sloped armor to help deflect incoming enemy rounds and further protection was offered through the six smoke grenade dischargers (three to a turret side). The AMX-40 sported six road wheels to a track side (one more than the original AMX-32) with the drive sprocket at the rear and the track idler at the front of the hull. The engine was held in a compartment at the rear of the hull for maximum protection. Interestingly, the AMX-40 design featured a co-axially mounted 20mm F2 autocannon as opposed to the more traditional 7.62mm general purpose machine gun fitting found in other Western tanks. A turret roof-mounted 7.62mm machine gun was installed at the commander's cupola to combat low-flying enemy aircraft or enemy infantry. The vehicle's listed weight was 47.38 tons.
Power was supplied by way of a single Poyaud V12X diesel engine developing 1,100 horsepower. This potentially gave the vehicle a top speed of 43 miles per hour with acceptable operational ranges. Armament protection, when initially designed, was actually quite good but advancements in projectile types and anti-tank missiles soon degraded its base value.
The AMX-40 program was officially dropped from the market by 1990.