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Main Battle Tank (MBT) [ 1986 ]

The export-minded AMX-40 Main Battle Tank failed to net any global orders and was formally cancelled by 1990.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/25/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Main Battle Tank (MBT)
Primary armored ground combat unit of modern armies utilizing speed, protection, and / or firepower to spearhead armored assaults.
Frontline Asset
Frontline unit used to take direct part in forward operating actions against enemy positions / targets.
Engage armored vehicles of similar form and function.

32.9 ft
10.04 m
11.0 ft
3.36 m
10.1 ft
3.08 m
94,799 lb
43,000 kg
47.4 tons
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base AMX-40 production variant. Length typically includes main gun in forward position if applicable to the design)
Powerplant: 1 x Poyaud 12-cylinder diesel engine developing 1,100 horsepower.
43.5 mph
(70.0 kph)
372.8 mi
(600.0 km)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base AMX-40 production variant. Compare this entry against any other in our database)
1 x 120mm smoothbore main gun
1 x 20mm F2 coaxial autocannon
1 x 7.62mm general purpose machine gun at commander's cupola.

Supported Types

Graphical image of a tank cannon armament
Graphical image of a tank automatic cannon
Graphical image of a tank medium machine gun

(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
35 x 120mm projectiles

AMX-40 - Base Series Designation; only four prototypes completed; project cancelled by 1990.

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