Combat vehicles / Reconnaissance / AML

AML

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Reconnaissance vehicle

  • ORIGIN
    France

  • NICKNAMES
    AML-245 (early designation)
    Eland (South African production)

  • DESIGNED
    1950's

  • DESIGNER
    Panhard

  • PRODUCTION
    1960 - ?

  • PRODUCERS
    France - Panhard
    South Africa

  • QUANTITY
    Over 5.300 produced

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Good mobility
    Very powerful armament
    Low production costs
    Parts interchangeability with M3
    Limited armor protection
    Non-stabilized armament

Introduction

The AML is a reconnaissance vehicle of French origin. It was developed in the 1950's to replace the British Ferret in French service. In line with French doctrine it is fitted with the most powerful armament the chassis is able to handle. This allows it to be used in a fire support role.

Layout

The AML uses a 4x4 chassis with sleek armored body with driver in the front, two man turret in the middle and engine at the rear. The design of the body, the bumper and the very large turret give the AML a distinctive look.

Firepower

The AML comes in two major versions. The AML-60 mounts a breech loaded mortar and secondary armament which may consist of two AAT-52 or MAG machine guns, a 12.7mm M2HB machine gun or a 20mm autocannon. The maximum range is 2.6 km. The AML-90 mounts a 90mm cannon and two 7.62mm machine guns. Additionally there are uncommon versions such as the variant with S530 anti-aircraft turret with twin 20mm autocannon and the AML-20 which uses a 20mm Ratel turret.

Protection

The steel armor provides protection against small arms fire all around. The AML is vulnerable to any heavier weapon and mines. An NBC system is lacking but smoke grenade launchers are fitted on the turret.

Mobility

The 4x4 chassis provides a good mobility on roads and in the field. A 90 hp petrol engine provides propulsion. Upgrades include more powerful diesel engines. The maximum road speed is 90 km/h.

Users

The AML was adopted in large quantities by the French forces and was exported in even larger quantities all around the world. Most of them ended up in Africa, with South Africa being the primary user in the world. The AML has been successfully used in many conflicts and has been known to have taken out T-55 tanks. In French service it was replaced by the ERC-90, but large quantities remain in service around the world.

Variants

AML-60

The AML-60 mounts a two man turret with 60mm breech loaded mortar which may be used both in the direct fire and indirect fire role.

AML 60-7: AML-60 with two machine guns as coaxial weapons. Options include the 7.5mm AAT-52, 7.62mm AAT-NF1 and 7.62mm MAG.
AML 60-12: AML-60 with 12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun as coaxial weapon.
AML 60-20: AML-60 with 20mm autocannon as coaxial weapon.
AML 60-20 Serval: AML-60 with 7.62mm coaxial roof mounted machine gun and 20mm M693 or HS-820 autocannon on turret roof. Optionally a long range mortar with 5 km range is installed.

AML-90

The AML-90 is fitted with a two man turret mounting a 90mm cannon.

AML-90: Original model with H90 turret with 90mm F1 cannon, a coaxial machine gun and a roof mounted machine gun.
AML-90 Lynx: AML-90 with improved Lynx turret with 90mm F1 cannon, night vision equipment and laser range finder.

TypeReconnaissance vehicle
Crew3 (commander, driver, gunner)
Length3.79 m (hull), 5.11 m (gun forward)
Width1.97 m
Height2.07 m (overall)
Ground clearance0.33 m
Weight5.5 t combat load
Ground pressure?
WheelbaseWheeled chassis, 4x4, 2.5 m wheelbase, 1.62 m track
Turn radius6 m
EnginePanhard Model 4 HD 4-cylinder air-cooled petrol, 90 hp at 4.700 rpm
Power ratio16.4 hp/t
TransmissionManual, 6 forward, 1 reverse
Speed90 km/h on road, 5.5 km/h reverse
Fuel156 L
Range600 km on road
Wall0.3 m
Trench0.8 m
Gradient60% gradient, 30% slope
Fording1.1 m
ArmorSteel, 8 to 12 mm
NBC equipmentOptional
Night visionOptional
Smoke2x2 80mm smoke grenade dischargers
Remarks-
Armament90mm D921 F1 cannon
7.62mm coaxial machine gun
7.62mm roof machine gun
Weapon190mm D921 F1 cannon
20 rounds
-8 to +15° elevation, manual
360° traverse, manual
non-stabilized
Weapon27.62mm coaxial machine gun
elevation and traverse as main armament
Weapon37.62mm machine gun
pintle mount at turret roof
manual elevation and traverse
non-stabilized
Weapon4-
Weapon5-
Weapon6-

Eland

The Eland is the South African production model of the AML. It has been produced in both Eland 60 and Eland 90 models. Over time various upgrades were carried out.

AML-20

The AML-20 is an upgrade of the AML in Irish service. It mounts the complete turret of the Ratel 20, including the 20mm G12 autocannon. Additionally the engine has been upgraded.

AML-S530

The AML-S530 is an AML with S530 turret which mounts two 20mm M621 autocannon. It is used in the anti-aircraft role and the armament allows for a high level of elevation. The AML-S530 has been produced only in small quantities.

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