2 December 2017
The AMX-13 SS.11 is a modernized version of the well-known AMX-13 light tank developed in the late 1940s. This Cold War version of the tank was retrofitted with ATGMs to complement its 75mm cannon, in an effort to boost the vehicle’s effectiveness against hostile armour. Be on the lookout for this small, but very deadly French predator, coming soon with War Thunder’s update 1.75 "La Résistance"!
Initial development of the AMX-13 began after WW2 ended. In 1946, the French army needed a new fighting vehicle to support paratrooper units. This new vehicle needed to be fast and lightweight with a maximum weight of 13 tons.The contract was awarded to the state-owned Atelier de Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux (AMX) company, which was located close to Paris. AMX was able to quickly design the new vehicle and build the first prototypes in just 3 years.After successfully blazing through initial trials, AMX started producing the AMX-13 in the early 1950s. Production continued well into the 1980s as the aging AMX-13 was continually modernized, modified, and upgraded.The AMX-13 SS.11 is a modernized version of the AMX-13 developed during the Cold War. By 1962, the AMX-13’s standard 75mm cannon had become less effective against the armour of contemporary tanks, some of which had begun using composite armour.
In 1962, the French military high command approved modernization work for the AMX-13 to upgrade and increase the AMX-13’s firepower. However, while increasing firepower was the primary goal, the French high command didn’t want to exceed the AMX-13’s weight. This limited options and ruled out major upgrades, so the engineers decided to mount four SS.11 first generation ATGM launchers to the front of the turret.The changes were incremental but achieved the desired effect. Thanks to the ATGMs, the AMX-13 could now effectively engage targets up to 3km away and penetrate up to 600mm of steel armour—something previously impossible for the 75mm cannon alone.The AMX-13 SS.11 joined the ranks of the French army in the 1960s and continued to serve for well over two decades.
Tankers patiently waiting for the French ground forces to arrive in War Thunder can look forward to the AMX-13’s arrival, which will bring several new and distinctively French features to the game.One such feature is the AMX-13’s oscillating turret. Oscillating turrets consist of an upper and lower part and enabled the cannon to elevate by tilting the entire top of the turret, whereas the lower part connected to the turret ring and enabled horizontal movement. This design provided multiple advantages, including high gun placement, smaller turret size, and a simpler, more reliable autoloader mechanism.On the AMX-13, the turret houses an auto-loaded 75mm cannon—a tank equivalent of a “6-shooter” because it can fire six shots in rapid succession before one of its two six-round drum magazines has to be reloaded. Only a handful of French post-and Cold War tank designs were equipped with this feature.Unfortunately, once the magazines have been spent, the crew of the AMX-13 had to withdraw from the battlefield, exit the vehicle, and manually reload the autoloading mechanism. (In War Thunder, this is just simulated through a lengthy reload time.)
In addition to the 75mm cannon, the ATGMs on the AMX-13 SS.11 can strike distant, heavily armoured targets, which makes them an excellent complement to the rapid-fire 75mm “6-shooter”.But don’t let the firepower go to your head. The AMX-13 SS.11 is still a light tank with relatively light armour that is only 10-40mm thick—and unlikely to stop anything larger than shrapnel and low-calibre machine gun fire.In addition, despite being a relatively small tank, the AMX-13 SS.11 requires a crew of three (driver, commander and gunner), and two of those crew members ride in the turret. A well-placed shot to the turret can quickly eliminate the AMX-13’s combat effectiveness.
Use the AMX-13’s speed and maneuverability to strike hard, fast, and avoid enemy fire. With a maximum top speed of 65 km/h and relatively low ground pressure, the AMX-13 SS.11 can take advantageous positions faster than other vehicles, which makes it a great ambush predator.
Excited to get your hand on an armoured piece of French resistance?
See you on the battlefield!