TopBadger wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 05, 2023 9:33 am
Not sure what the debate is given it's a light tank... but that any debate exists isn't a good sign.
The debate exists because there are different ways to define a tank, and that isn't just minor differences in defitinitions, but differences based on whether or not it is assessed according to it's constructional features or intended role - "structure" and "doctrine" on the (non-serious) diagram below
So there's people who say the AMX-10-RC isn't a tank due to its wheels. Then again, it has skid-steering, meaning its wheeled drivetrain still actually handles a lot like a tracked one. Personally, I prefer role-based definitions.
A role based definition of a tank might be something like "A vehicle designed to manoeuvre against the enemy, engage them primarily with direct fire within visual range and break through their lines and advance into their operational depth. To achieve this, it requires heavy direct fire weaponry and armour to resist enemy fire so as to enable it to engage at close range"
That would describe a main battle tank (MBT), but light tanks complicate things as there's never really been a single consistent role for light tanks. The AMX-10-RC has good mobility. It has a 105mm gun, albeit not as powerful a 105mm as most 105mm tank guns, it has armour sufficient against 14.5mm heavy machine guns and, at the front and only at range, autocannon. However, it wasn't primarily designed as a vehicle to directly engage the enemy, instead it was designed for armour reconnaissance - to go forward to lurk and gather information, but to be able to punch through a screening force, fight its way back out if needed, or to engage targets of opportunity. This is pretty analagous to the British FV107 Scimitar in role, a vehicle which also gets called a light tank.
What I will say for definite, though, is than an AMX-10-RC is not in the same class, or ever remotely intended to be in the same class, as a Leopard 1 or 2, a Challenger, a Leopard, an Abrams, or a T-64 derivative.
Ultimately, whether or not it is a tank shouldn't matter. Militarily, what matters is how Ukraine can integrate it into their armed forces. Given their successful use of light, fast forces, AMX-10-RCs are perfect for them. Politically, though, it does matter, as countries are holding back "tanks" and making the excuse that other nations haven't sent "tanks", so if anyone from the SPD is in earshot, I will vociferously argue that both the AMX-10-RC and the FV107 Scimitar are tanks.
It seems to me that the western strategy is still for Russia to lose 'gently' - which doesn't change the end result and simply extends the suffering on all sides.
That's my worry, and its absurd. It extends the suffering, and it ups the other costs as well as the human costs. Ukraine should get aid as fast as they can absorb it into their armed forces. At this point, it's quite clear Russia does not have a response to western aid. If it is operated by Ukrainians and isn't either a nuclear weapon or primarily noted as a delivery mechanism for nuclear weapons, there's no reason not to send it.