The AMX-40 was a French main battle tank developed by GIAT during the latter stages of the Cold War as an export tank to replace the earlier AMX-32. Designed to be an inexpensive tank orientated towards militaries with smaller defence budgets, the AMX-40 featured a lightly armoured hull and good mobility reminiscent of previous French MBTs with a powerful 120 mm cannon. It however failed to attract interest and sales, rendering the project a failure, being discontinued in 1990.

As the AMX-32 had failed to attract any potential sales, GIAT decided to produce yet another upgrade, the AMX-40 Main Battle Tank. The development of the AMX-40 began in 1980 as a clean sheet design. In 1983, the first prototype was finished and presented at the Satory Exhibition that year. Two further prototypes were produced in 1984; the fourth and last one was fabricated in 1985. The design was not intended for service in France, but as a successor to the AMX-32, the improved export version of the AMX-30. However, the efforts to obtain foreign orders failed, the most serious potential customer to have considered the design being Spain. It ceased being offered for export in 1990, when the end of the Cold War brought lots of surplus MBTs on the market.

The main armament consisted of a GIAT 120 mm CN120-25 model G1 smoothbore gun. The main gun ammunition load was 37 to 40 rounds depending on the prototype. Up to 17 rounds can be stored in the turret, 14 of those are stored in a sealed compartment inside the turret bustle fitted with blowout panels. Ten of them are loaded in two electrically operated drums. The rest of the rounds were stored in a large rack to the right of the driver. The tank could fire a variety of NATO 120 mm ammunition, including the French OCC 120 G1 HEAT round and the OFL 120 G1 APFSDS round which are suitable for all NATO 120mm smooth bore gun. The OFL 120 G1 was capable of penetrating 420 mm of RHA steel armor at 1,000 m range.

The auxiliary armament included a 20 mm M693 autocannon, a derivative of the GIAT designed F2 autocannon. Since the elevation (up to +40°) system can be operated independently of that of the 120 mm gun, this armament provides a not inconsiderable capability for defense against ground and air targets. In addition, a 7.62 mm AAN-F1 light machine gun for short-range anti-aircraft or ground defense is linked to the hatch of the TOP 7 commander cupola. It can be fired from inside the cupola.

Twelve Lacroix Galix 80 mm launchers are grouped in two packs of six and are located on either side of the turret, these launchers can throw aerosol smoke grenades, flares and anti-personnel fragmentation grenades.

Manufacturers AMX-APX, GIAT

Nexter Systems (formerly known as GIAT Industries or Groupement des Industries de l’Armée de Terre, Army Industries Group) is a French government-owned weapons manufacturer, based in Roanne, Loire.

Saumur museum of armored vehicles

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