The AMX-30 stemmed from a post-World War 2 design that saw many nations in Europe attempting to refit and update their armor inventories. With a three-way organized effort between West Germany, France and Italy to design and produce a tank similar to the US-made M47 Patton series (already in large stock in French inventory) but up-gunned while carrying less weight, West German and French engineers each came up with separate attempts. West Germany produced a working prototype that was named the Leopard while France designed and produced the prototype AMX-30. By this time it was accepted that each nation would adopt its own designs as to fulfill their battle tank needs with the West German Leopard becoming the Leopard 1 main battle tank and the AMX-30 entering production for France.
The core of the AMX-30 revolves around the CH-105-F1 105mm main gun fitted to the three man turret. With a muzzle velocity of some 3,280 feet per second, the main gun can defeat some 15 inches of enemy armor (it should be noted that the AMX-30 features nothing in the way of a gun stabilization feature and, as such, cannot effectively fire when on the move). A distinct design feature also sees a 20mm cannon fitted coaxially in the turret and can be elevated separately of the main gun. An additional 7.62mm machine gun in fitted to the top of the turret for anti-infantry or anti-aircraft defense. Five road wheels are afforded per track side. Power is derived from a single Hispano-Suiza 12-cylinder diesel engine developing 720 horsepower. Ammunition storage consists of 47 x 105mm projectiles, over 1,000 rounds of 20mm ammunition and over 2,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.
The AMX-30 appeared in production form from 1966 onwards and was produced for the next 27 years. The AMX-30 became a favorite on the export market - especially with Middle Eastern customers - and would go on to see some 3,500 examples produced. The 155mm GCT self-propelled gun system is based on the AMX-30 chassis.