The AMX30 Char de Bataille was the standard French Main Battle Tank during the Cold War era. Initially the French and Germans attempted to develop a `standard European tank’ based on their experiences of the Second World War. Both countries required a design that put mobility and firepower foremost at the expense of armour protection, but the joint collaboration failed to materialise with the result that the French produced the AMX30 and the Germans the Leopard 1. The AMX30 was considerably lighter than its Anglo-Saxon contemporaries with a combat weight of 36 tonnes (hence its designation of AMX30). Again, unlike its NATO contemporaries that were armed with the British 105mm L7 gun, the AMX30 featured a smoothbore 105mm main armament firing a single type hollow-charge projectile – the OBUS-G – capable of defeating other battle tanks at normal combat ranges. However, with its lighter weight the AMX30 was far more mobile with excellent acceleration and cross-country agility (which later came into its own during the First Gulf War). For this reason it found a ready export market for those armies that did not want a fully-fledged Main Battle Tank with its greater servicing requirements and problems of strategic mobility. Foreign customers included Greece, Spain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq, Chile, Venezuela, Cyprus, Qatar and Bosnia. French AMX30 tanks saw combat with Division Daguet in the Gulf War and with the Qataris at the Battle of Khafji in the First Gulf War in 1991. Later versions of the tank remain in service in the Middle East in 2018. The AMX30 chassis also became the basis for several special purpose variants including recovery and engineer vehicles, bridge-layer, self-propelled artillery including nuclear ballistic missiles, anti-aircraft systems and the AMX30 Javolet multiple-rocket system. Authors M.P. Robinson and Thomas Seignon look at the development of the AMX30B and AMX30B2, including the AMX30 family of vehicles; the anatomy of the AMX30B, including the hull and descriptions of crew positions and duties; turret and gun, and the Obus-G HEAT round; the automotive drive train (engine/transmission/final drives), tracks and suspension; main and secondary armament, sighting equipment and ammunition; communications; water-crossing capability and the NBC system. Servicing, maintenance and non-technical inspections, and the AMX30B and AMX30B2 in service in the French Army are all covered in detail. Appendices include data and production tables, AMX30B2 conversions, as well as a glossary of terms and abbreviations.
AMX30B MAIN BATTLE TANK 1960-2019 : AMX30B, AMX30B2, and Derivates Enthusiasts’ Manual
The FINABEL collaborative project of the mid-1950s was intended to produce a tank for several European NATO nations. In the end it resulted in Germany’s Leopard and the French AMX30 Main Battle Tank. AMX30 was to serve the French Army for decades and sold reasonably well abroad, some are still around as an opposition force for training.