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goose

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I have just discovered a tank I did not know existed. It is the AMX ELC, a light tank intended for airborne forces. It is very small but well armed, I can not find much information about it. I can't see where the drivers seat is-in the turret? If you know any more then please let me know. I wonder why it failed?
 

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goose

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Thanks for the link, some really nice pics of an interesting little tank. Double hatting the driver as the gunner to save crew and therfore weight may have been attactive to the designer but it could lead to disaster in combat. The tank cannot move and fight at the same time and so it becomes a static gun platform in combat. If engaged while moving there will be a delay before it returns fire. I realise these points also apply to assault guns so it comes down to how it was to be used, unfortunatly if it looks like a tank it will be used as a tank. An assault gun layout might have been a better solution and lighter.
 

Pioneer

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Hey I never knew about this design, up until a couple of months ago!
I think it is a great design!!
I found this photo, which clearly depicts the designs real compactness = light weight!!

Regards
Pioneer
 

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cluttonfred

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goose said:
Thanks for the link, some really nice pics of an interesting little tank. Double hatting the driver as the gunner to save crew and therfore weight may have been attactive to the designer but it could lead to disaster in combat. The tank cannot move and fight at the same time and so it becomes a static gun platform in combat. If engaged while moving there will be a delay before it returns fire. I realise these points also apply to assault guns so it comes down to how it was to be used, unfortunatly if it looks like a tank it will be used as a tank. An assault gun layout might have been a better solution and lighter.

I think that you may have missed the point of this vehicle. The French text in the link above describes it like so:

1955 ELC AMX
Chasseur de char de 6 tonnes. Le conducteur et le canonnier sont placés de part et d'autre du canon de 90 mm dans une tourelle casemate. A l'arrêt, on disposait d'un champ de tir de 360°. En marche, le champ était celui d'un canon d'assaut classique.
Longueur : 4,97m largeur : 2,24 m hauteur : 1,58 m poids : 6,7 t
Armement : 1 canon de 90 mm D 914 (Vo 780 m/s) 36 coups

In short, the ELC AMX was intended as a tank destroyer--a mobile anti-tank gun--with a 360° field of fire when stationary but functioning a bit like a Swedish S-Tank (aim the whole tank with the gun fixed) when on the move. Seen that way, and considering the kind of asymmetrical conflict in which it would have likely participated, it could have been a very handy tool. Not something to go up against Russian armor head to head, but it would have been a very handy vehicle nonetheless.
 

TomS

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I was curious about this tank, and a google search turned up something that has me confused.

In this article about the Future MBT program (originally in Armor), there's a picture that is captioned as "The French AMX-ELC of the 1960s." However, it's clearly not the same tank. Anyone know what this vehicle really is?

fmbt1.gif
 

TomS

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Thanks. It's easy to see how the authors might have confused the two ELC candidates.

The Hotchkiss version is quite an odd-looking beast. Did it work the same way as the AMX contender (fixed gun while moving, traversable while stopped)?
 

goose

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Thanks for the link to the Hotchkis prototype, interesting little tank. I think that this version is a better vehicle than the AMX, the driver driving,gunner/commander OK with belt fed weapons. The cannon are a better solution to fire support than a large gun for light infantry-effective against most likly targets and lots of ammo. If the paras need a big anti-tank gun then they shouldn't be there. Perhaps back it up with a anti-tank missile version for those pesky MBTs if you are in the habbit of putting you light forces in front of them. If it is light enough to be picked up by a helecopter then it looks very useful indeed. But does it need two cannon? What ground target demands a high rate of fire?
 

Ranger6

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Goose,

I'm not sure what gives you the i9mpression that the Hotchkiss ELC had two guns. AFAIK it had only one and was designed around only one gun (Plus a co-ax MG, maybe that's the second gun?).
In any event, the French tested both and decided that neither fit their needs. Instead, they turned to armored cars as offering the best possibility of mounting a heavier gun on a light platform.
 

TomS

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Ranger6:

There were two versions of the Hotchkiss ELC. One had a single 90mm canon, the other had two 30mm cannon (as shown in the attached image). I believe Goose is questioning the need for two 30mm guns. I have to agree -- unless they hoped to use it as an anti-aircraft weapon, the extra RoF of the second gun is almost certainly unneeded.
 

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CostasTT

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They are most certainly not antiaircraft guns. The oscillating turret does not allow for sufficient elevation.
 

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TomS

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Of course you're right. So I'm at quite a loss for what they hoped to do with the second gun.
 

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Photo of AMX ELC (Engin Leger de Combat).

Source:
http://www.friendsreunited.co.uk/the-french-amx-elc-light-tank/Memory/c275e5b3-1e15-405d-bef5-a0c40116bce3
http://forum.worldoftanks.com/index.php?/topic/95416-second-french-lightmedium-line/
 

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Madurai

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TomS said:
Of course you're right. So I'm at quite a loss for what they hoped to do with the second gun.

There was a proposed variant of the Sheridan with twin 25mm, specifically dedicated to engaging ground, not air targets. Presumably, the French had similar enough experience using SPAAGs against infantry that there was a short fad for building a dedicated vehicle to do that.
 
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CostasTT

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According to Hunnicutt, the Sheridan twin 25mm rapid fire weapons system would have been effective against both air and ground targets - the guns had a maximum elevation of 90 degrees - but from the concept art illustrations it lacked any form of radar fire controls for the AA role, so it would have been a clear weather system when used as such.
 

dan_inbox

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CostasTT said:
They are most certainly not antiaircraft guns. The oscillating turret does not allow for sufficient elevation.
The EVEN ELC was meant to ambush tanks at close range in urban or compartmentalized terrain. Asymmetric defense tactics against the hordes of Soviet tanks expected in 1955.


It had some very unusual features, like a 2-men-only crew, the driver on the right-hand side (in France), and a turret offset to the left. The cannon was fixed inside the turret, allowing for an automated loader, as was later used in the AMX 13.


In fact there are at least 3 versions of the EVEN ELC: 2x30mm, 1x 90mm+GPMG, SS-11 + SS-12 launcher.
The attached photo is the missile version, with dual SS-11 and single SS-12.


Personally I can see such a contraption working reasonably well in the Normandie bocage, but not so well in cities, far less in the "west european great plains" (or whatever it's called in English) that said Soviet hordes would run through. In those plains, the tiny tin can would be in big trouble against T55s...
 

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robunos

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Image of an Even ELC firing an SS.11 missile from its NA.2 turret, source AFV Profile, Missile Armed Armoured Vehicles, page 14.

Image of an A.M.L. armoured car carrying the NA-2 turret, source AFV Profile, Missile Armed Armoured Vehicles, page 23.


cheers,
Robin.
 

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Blacktail

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I have some additional insight into why the ELC project failed.

The primary culprit was the use of an unmanned turret, or EGT ("External Gun Turret"). They erase an AFV's unrestricted top vision and accessibility to the vehicle's weapons from inside, require exceedingly complex internal workings, and they force the whole crew to sit in the front of the hull (the part most likely to be penetrated by tank fire and land mines) --- to name a few.

This was pointed-out to Armor Magazine by armor engineer Don Loughlin in the 1990s, at a time when the US Army was gonzo for EGT tanks. He never let them forget how badly every EGT vehicle had turned out, and why;
http://ciar.org/ttk/mbt/armor/armor-magazine/armor-mag.1996.jf/1xturret96.pdf

http://ciar.org/ttk/mbt/armor/armor-magazine/armor-mag.1996.ja/4letters96.pdf

http://ciar.org/ttk/mbt/armor/armor-magazine/armor-mag.1997.ma/2letters97.pdf

http://ciar.org/ttk/mbt/armor/armor-magazine/armor-mag.1997.mj/3tkplant97.pdf

http://ciar.org/ttk/mbt/armor/armor-magazine/armor-mag.1998.ja/4sayonara98.pdf

http://ciar.org/ttk/mbt/armor/armor-magazine/armor-mag.1999.mj/3ltrs99.pdf
 

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Madurai said:
TomS said:
Of course you're right. So I'm at quite a loss for what they hoped to do with the second gun.

There was a proposed variant of the Sheridan with twin 25mm, specifically dedicated to engaging ground, not air targets. Presumably, the French had similar enough experience using SPAAGs against infantry that there was a short fad for building a dedicated vehicle to do that.

Possible uses for twin auto-cannons:
- Increase rate of fire (e.g. for engaging aircraft)
- Allow cooling one barrel at a time (e.g. New Ukranian/CIS AFVs and MBTs)
- Dual ammunition types with single feed guns
- Provide redundancy in case of failure or jams


The limited ammunition capacity would remove both cooling and increased rate of fire as reasons - so I'm guessing it was fear of one of the autocannons failing within an automatic and difficult to access turret. It would be interesting to have confirmation though.
 

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Madurai said:
There was a proposed variant of the Sheridan with twin 25mm, specifically dedicated to engaging ground, not air targets. Presumably, the French had similar enough experience using SPAAGs against infantry that there was a short fad for building a dedicated vehicle to do that.

Also, with regards to the Sheridan based proposal, the human wave attacks common in the Korean War would still have been fresh enough in the memory in the institutional memory of the Army.
 

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Hi,
I recall seeing what I think was an early version of this with a pair of 75 mm (?) RCL's mounted either side of a central cupola. It obviously had a two man crew which is a non-starter during the hours of darkness in my view; one man sleeping the other trying to maintain radio watch and act as sentry - who makes the tea?
 

Grey Havoc

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Grey Havoc said:
Madurai said:
There was a proposed variant of the Sheridan with twin 25mm, specifically dedicated to engaging ground, not air targets. Presumably, the French had similar enough experience using SPAAGs against infantry that there was a short fad for building a dedicated vehicle to do that.

Also, with regards to the Sheridan based proposal, the human wave attacks common in the Korean War would still have been fresh enough in the memory in the institutional memory of the Army.

Found the below at Beyond the Sprues (h/t GTX):
 

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