The French AMX-13-75 Light Tank was the first of the AMX-13 Tank series. It was initally built with a 75mm main gun and referred to as simply “AMX-13” until production swapped to a new production model with a 90mm main gun, the AMX-13-90 in 1966. In addition, the AMX-13-75 hull was used with other turrets in limited numbers.
It was a very unique vehicle and a very popular export vehicle for the French arms industry. It was the first tank of many to use an automatic loader for the main gun.
The initial design of the vehicle began in 1946 with the first prototype completed in 1948, which was designated “AMX-13”.
After successful field trials, it entered production with the French company Atelier de Construction Roanne (AKA – AMR) in 1952, but by the early 1960’s production had been taken over by the French firm Creusot-Loire (which was taken over by the former GIAT Industries) at Chalon-sur-Saone whilst AMR concentrated on the newly developed AMX-30 MBT.
AMX-13-75 Light Tank Layout
To reduce weight it couldn’t be fitted with heavy armour as the vehicle had to be air portable to support paratroopers, so its designers decided to reduce the height of its silhouette with a new turret design. Rather than the traditional design of the main gun being elevated as found on other tanks, the upper half of the AMX-13’s turret would elevate rather than the main gun, whilst the lower half of the The AMX-13 turret is made up of x2 parts.
Part 1 is attached to the turret ring and can traverse left and right by 360 degree’s. Part 2, the upper hull osculates on a central point large pin (one either side attached to part 1) as marked as a red cirle in the picture. The main gun is fixed to Part 2 and relys on the osculating of Part 2 to elevate and depress it. Picture belows shows Part 2 osculated and the main gun elevated.
The autoloader was a turret bustle (rear of turret) comprising of x2 drums, each drum being set for 1 type of ammunition (x6 rounds). The Commander sat on the left side of the main gun in the turret and the Gunner on the rightside of the main gun.
The Driver sat on the front left of the hull, with the engine bay to his right.
AMX-13-75 Light Tank Models
AMX-13-75 Light Tank Modèle 51 (1953: FL-10 turret)
The Modèle 51 was the main production model. it was fitted with the FL-10 turret, mounting a 75mm Main Gun. Initially the vehicle was built with x2 return rollers, however later production had an added shock absorber and reinforced track tension wheel resulting in the return roller numbers being increased to x4.
AMX-13-75 Light Tank Modèle 51 (1954: FL-11 turret)
The next model used the same FL-11 turret as Panhard EBR Armored Car and had only x2 top rollers in the tracks. The crew would manually load the Main Gun. Again limited number were built.
AMX-13 “Chaffee Turret” (1960)
The AMX-13 was fitted with the turret of the American Chaffee Light Tank complete with its main gun etc, but the hull and its running gear was that of the AMX-13. Only limited number were built.
AMX-13 T75 aka “Char Lance SS-11” (1964)
Concerned with the effectivness of the 75mm Main Gun at the time, the decission was made to fit a launcher on top of the main gun, that fired x4 SS-11 ATGM. It was later re-designated “AMX-13 T75 avec TCA” once it was fitted with an electronic guidance system for the missiles.
AMX-13-75 Light Tank Variants
The more common variants of the AMX-13 are the Mk F3 155mm self-propelled howitzer, the AMX VCI APC (10 infantrymen) and the AMX-13 DCA anti-aircraft equipped with two 30mm Hispano cannons (only 60 were manufactured).
AMX-13 DTT: Driver training tank with the turret of the M24 Chaffee
AMX-DCA: aka AMX-13/S530 Self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicle with two HS 831 30 mm cannons
AMX-DCA 30 aka Bitube de 30 mm anti-aérien automoteur, Oeil Noir: Self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicle with retractable radar fitted, 60 delivered between 1969 and late 80’s
AMX-13 Training Tank: AMX-13 with turret removed and used for driver training
AMX-13 Modèle 55 AKA AMX-D: Armoured recovery vehicle
AMX-13 PDP (Poseur De Pont) Modèle 51: Scissors type AVLB
AMX-13-75 Light Tank Prototypes
AMX-13 57mm L/100 (1948-1952?)
This vehice Is featured in World Of Tanks as a premium vehicle. It mounts a fast firing 57mm with the capcity to carry more rounds in the autoloader. Remaind at the prototype stage.
AMX-13 FL-10 Turret on M24 Chaffee Hull (1955-56)
In 1955-1956, while AMX-13 was in early production phase, a single prototype was made, coupling the AMX-13’s FL-10 turret with the M24 chassis. It was deemed unsatisfactory and project was abandoned.
AMX-13 HOT Early Version (1976-78)
Developed for both home and export, HOT ATGM system was proposed to make up for the lacking armor piercing capability of the old 75mm main gun. The vehicle was not accepted into service due to other newer French vehicles entering service. The above picture is believed to be the first version upgraded with the HOT ATGM system. It had a new sight for missile guidance and a pod of x4 HOT missiles on either side of the turret.
AMX-13 HOT Late Version
The above picture is believed to be the final HOT version completed in 1978. The guidance sight appears to have been retained but the firing pods changed to carry either x2 or x3 HOT missiles. The HOT missile is an Optical Remote-Guided anti-tank missile that entered production in 1976 and upgraded in to 3 variants throughout its service life.
AMX-13-75 Light Tank Operators
Of the estimated 7700 manufactured AMX – 13’s, 3400 were exported all around the world and saw action in the Six-Day War when 200 of them were deployed by the IDF. They were also used in a limited number of French air-bourne operations.
Operators (2006 Janes)
AMX-13-75 Light Tank Operator Upgrades
Singapore (1988): AMX-13SM1
New 290bhp turbo-charged Detroit Diesel 6V-53T engine, new ZF 5WG-180 fully automatic transmission, new electrical system and a hydro pneumatic suspension system (so faster off-road). Fire Control System was upgraded by ST Kinetics with a new laser range-finder and night vision.
Switzerland (1952 onwards): Leichter Panzer 51
Cockerill 90mm Mk IVA3 Main Gun Package
Cockerill Mechanical Industries offered a 90mm Mk IVA3 re-gunning package for the AMX-13 light tank as a replacement for the existing 75mm or 105mm Main Gun. The new Main Gun required additional modifications, which were sold with the Mk IVA3 as a package:
- Fume Extractor, a muzzle brake and breech ring accessories
- Changes to the two six-round ammunition drums, the turret basket ammunition racks and the existing automatic loading system.
A total of 22 packages had been produced for export. This upgrade package- is no longer being marketed by Cockerill Mechanical Industries.
AMX-13-75 Light Tank Specifications
Elevation -5 to +12.5
|Secondary Weapons||x1 coaxial 7.62mm MG, x1 7.62mm MG|
|Ammunition Storage||x32 75mm, x3,600 7.62mm|
|Engine||250hp SOFAM Model 8Gxb Petrol|
|Transmission||Manual (4 forward/ 1 reverse gears)?|
|Top Road Speed||60 km/h|
|Road Range||350+ km|
|Fuel Capacity||480 Litres|
|Water Capability||0.6m Wading|
|Length Gun Forward||6.36?m|
|Weight||15,000kg aka 15 tonne combat|
|Active Protection Systems||No|
AMX-13-90 Light Tank Page
AMX-13-105 Light Tank Page