AMX-13 Light Tank
Gary's Combat Vehicle Reference Guide

Country of OriginFrance
RoleReconnaissance vehicle, light tank, tank destroyer
Date Of Introduction1966
Crew3 (commander, gunner, driver)
Combat Weight16.5 tons (15.0 mt)
Ground Pressure10.5 psi (0.74 kg/cm²)
Length, Overall 20.87 ft (6.36 m)
Length, Hull 16.01 ft (4.88 m)
Width, Overall 8.23 ft (2.51 m)
Height, Overall 7.48 ft (2.28 m)
Ground Clearance14.6 in (370 mm)
Engine250 hp (186 kw) gasoline
Range217 miles (350 km)
Fuel Capacity127 gal (480 l)
Road Speed37 mph (60 km/h)
Cross Country Speed?
Swim SpeedN/A
Fording Depth2 ft (0.6 m) unprepared, 6.9 ft (2.1 m) with snorkel
Side Slope60%
Trench Crossing5.2 ft (1.6 m)
Vertical Wall Climb2.1 ft (0.65 m)
Hull front: 0.59 in (15 mm)     Turret front: 0.98 in (25 mm) at 45° impact angle
Hull sides: 0.79 in (20 mm)Turret sides: 0.98 in (25 mm)
Hull top: 0.39 in (10 mm)Turret top: 0.39 in (10 mm)
Hull rear: 0.59 in (15 mm)
Applique ArmorAvailable
Explosive Reactive ArmorN/A
Active Protective SystemN/A
NBC Protection SystemYes
Smoke EquipmentTwo smoke grenade launchers on each side of turret
Type Mount Typical Ammo Load
90mm CN-90-F3 rifled gun Turret; autoloader and manual; thermal sleeve; single baffle muzzle brake 32 (12 are in two revolver type magazines).
APFSDS-T, HEAT, HE, Cannister
7.62mm AA52 machine gun Coaxial to main gun 3,600
Fire Control System?
Main Gun StabilizationN/A
Infrared SearchlightYes


Since 1952 France has produced over 3,000 of these light battle tanks with numerous modifications. New production vehicles incorporate a new hull front, new diesel engine, automatic transmission, and hydro-pneumatic suspension. The basic chassis has been used for a mechanized infantry combat vehicle, a 105mm howitzer, a 155mm gun, and a twin 30mm anti-aircraft gun system. By adding HOT missiles, the AMX 13 can be used as a tank destroyer. Because of its light weight it may be considered as a useful air-portable reconnaissance vehicle.

The AMX-13 has a driver's and engine compartment at the front. A small turret is set well to the rear, with a large flat overhang. The top half of the two-piece turret oscillates to elevate the gun.

The driver sits to the left with three periscopes and a hatch cover opening to the left. The commander sits to the left of the turret, has eight periscopes and a domed hatch cover that opens to the rear. The gunner has two periscopes and a single-piece hatch cover opening to the rear. A torsion-bar suspension has five rubber-tired road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front. Steel tracks have 85 links that can be fitted with rubber pads.

This tank does not have an NBC system. It cannot be fitted for deep wading.

AMX-13 Model 51/75

Recognition features:


An add-on armor package can be installed or removed by the crew with on-board tools. The package is installed on the turret front and sides and on the nose and glacis plate of the hull. This protects against 20mm armor-piercing projectiles fired from a range of 100 meters over a 180° arc.

The AMX-13 was not built for night fighting, although some armies have fitted an infrared searchlight to the rear of the gunner's position and an infrared sight for the gunner. Recently the AMX 13 has been produced with passive or thermal night firing and night driving equipment, laser rangefinder, and automatic display of the battle sight.

Israeli EL-OP thermal sights are available for use on the tank.

AMX-13 Model 51
This first model of the AMX-13 is armed with a 75mm gun with a single baffle muzzle brake. It is fed from two revolver type magazines, each holding six rounds. When fired, the empty cartridge is ejected out the rear of the turret through a trap door. One round can be fired every five seconds. When empty, the magazines are refilled by hand from outside the tank. It fires armor-piercing and high-explosive rounds, with an APFSDS under development.

Mounted to the right is a 7.5mm or 7.62mm machine gun, with another often mounted externally to the commander's position. The vehicle generally carries 37 rounds of 75mm and 3,600 rounds (in belts of 200) of machine gun ammunition. Also two electrically-operated smoke dischargers are on either side of the turret.

Many variants and upgrades have diesel engines and a 7.62mm anti-aircraft machine gun. Two versions were fitted with 2 x SS-11 (two wire-guided anti-tank missiles are mounted on each side of the main armament) or 3 x HOT ATGM launchers (located in three launcher boxes on either side of the turret).
GTA 17-2-8: AMX-13
Up-gunned model fitted with a 90mm gun. A re-gunning package incorporates turret modifications for two six-round ammunition drums and turret basket ammunition racks with an automatic loading system. See data above.
AMX-13/105: Variant with a GIAT 105G1 105mm gun.
AMX 13 Bridgelayer
The bridgelayer is fitted with a folding class 25 bridge which has an unfolded length of 14.01 meters. The bridge is launched over the rear of the vehicle and two stabilizers steady the vehicle while the bridge is being positioned.
AMX-13 CD Model 55
Armored recovery variant. The AMX 13 ARV is used to recover other members of the AMX 13 family, and for changing major components such as turrets and engines. The ARV is equipped with a front-mounted A-frame, a 15,000 kg capacity winch, a secondary winch, four spades at the rear of the hull, tools, and other equipment. The ARV has a crew of three. The armament consists of an externally-mounted 7.5mm or 7.62mm machine gun and smoke dischargers.
Air defense variant with twin 30mm guns.
GTA 17-2-8: AMX-13 DCA
AMX 105mm Mk 61
Self-propelled howitzer variant.
155mm self-propelled gun
Variant used as an APC.
Argentinean AMX 13s
Most of these have probably had their original gasoline engines replaced by diesels.
Ecuadorian AMX 13s
The Ecuadorian AMX 13s have a fire control system which includes a laser rangefinder and its control unit, a digital computer that calculates the firing elevation, and a module that injects an aiming graticule into the gunner's original sight. There is a kit available to allow the 105mm gun to fire APFSDS ammunition.
NIMDA Upgrade for AMX 13
NIMDA, an Israeli company, produces a complete retrofit package for the AMX 13 light tank. The package consists of a new diesel engine, a new automatic transmission, new armament, computerized fire control system, additional armor protection, and a fire/explosion detection and suppression system.
Singapore AMX 13s
Singapore Automotive Engineering has developed its own repower package with a diesel engine. Other improvements include an automatic gun loading system and a hydro-pneumatic suspension unit.
Venezuelan AMX 13s
These tanks have a 90mm main gun. They are fitted with a diesel engine and a new cooling system.
Venezuelan AMX 13 Rocket Launchers
Venezuela has about 25 AMX-13 light tank chassis with the turrets replaced by an Israeli 160mm local acquisition radar (LAR) multiple rocket launcher system.