The AMX 10 RC is a 6×6 light reconnaissance vehicle built by GIAT (now Nexter). Over 300 are in service in the French Army. In addition, 108 vehicles were sold to Morocco and 12 to Qatar. RC stands for Roues-Canon, or wheeled gun. The AMX-10RC should not be confused with the AMX-10P; they share automotive components but otherwise have completely different battlefield roles. The AMX-10RC is usually used for reconnaissance missions in dangerous environments or for fire support.
The vehicle features a powerful GIAT 105mm gun mounted in a welded aluminium turret. The turret also serves to house three crew members, while the driver sits in the front of the hull; the COTAC fire control system is provided for gun aiming. All six wheels are driven, and the AMX-10RC uses skid steering to turn the hull.
The 105mm rifled gun fires four types of ammunition: APFSDS, HE, HEAT and smoke. The APFSDS, which uses the penetrator from the GIAT 90mm APFSDS round, is capable of penetrating a NATO triple heavy tank target at a range of 2,000 metres. The AMX-10RC is equipped with an NBC (Nuclear/Biological/Chemical) protection system and may conduct reconnaissance in a radioactive environment.
In 2010, Nexter completed the modernisation of 256 AMX-10RC vehicles to the RCR (Rénové) configuration, a programme that consisted of integrating various systems and additional armour, active self-protection by Sagem, LIRE (Leurre Infrarouge) / Eirel, the combat management system SIT (Système d’Information Terminal) V1, ASP device Galix smoke grenades, changes in the NBC protection and improvements in the suspension, and the speed gearboxes and tactical communications completed with Thales Communications & Security PR4G VS4. The integration was done by DCMAT (Direction Centrale du Matériel de l’Armée de Terre). Most visually notable are the side-skirts, but the front of the vehicle and the turret sides also received attention. Also, the turret was extended at the rear, creating more equipment space inside it.
The gun has received a new type of HEAT rounds. Also, a Galix system is mounted on the turret. This can fire a wide-range of grenades, including smoke, IR-decoys or explosive.The gearbox was replaced, as was the control system of the hydro-pneumatic suspension. Furthermore, the driver can now vary the pressure in the tires, allowing him to better adapt the vehicle’s traction to the terrain. However, the added weight means the RCR is no longer amphibious, and the water jets were removed. The improved AMX 10 RCR is meant to remain in service until 2020-2025, when the new EBRC Jaguar will replace it.