As a lot of you know, France is getting a new Tier VI premium in the 1.89 : the Super AMX.
The current issue with it is this tank is mostly unknown from the vast majority of the community, and notably from the french which know a lot of obscure project but has never heard of this particular tank.
When it was shown in yesterday livestream and got his own devblog, there was a lot confusion : "it was never built !" said one side, "stop this non-nense, it was built and tested in Saudi Arabia !" said Gaijin staff, "it's more powerful than the Leo L/44, nerf it to the ground reeeeeeeee !" said a few werhaboos.
Some would have prefered the AMX-30 C2 or the AMX-30 EM2 which were actually built and with a stabilizer, other would have a prefered a Leclerc prototype because more XM-1 memes.
So I decided to make my own research in a hope of discovering the truth about the Super AMX.
Let's find out together.
Firstly, for those who have already saw the AMX-30 C2 irl or in pictures at Saumur, you would have noticed that it is pretty visually similar to Super AMX we are getting. I found it weird but it often happen that vehicles have nearly any visual differences between them while the tanks in themself have way differents characteristics (different engine, different transmission, different turret rotation speed, diffrent FCS, etc…).
But I can fairly say I've got a good intuition and from this intuition, I've started by searching the differents characteristics of the C2 and the Super.
Firstly, the Super and his devblog :
During the second half of the 80s, a group of companies in West Germany developed an extensive program to modernize certain outdated tanks, including the French AMX-30B. A number of improvements were made to the French tank in order to enhance its firepower, increase its dynamic characteristics, and (optionally) enhance its armour to a certain extent.
The tank’s firing potential was improved thanks to the installation of a MOLF fire control system with a stabilized sight and a stabilizer for the main gun. The tank’s mobility was enhanced with a new 850-horsepower diesel engine, a German automatic transmission, and new torsion bars and hydraulic shock absorbers. The new tank was demonstrated to the public under the name “Super AMX-30” during testing in Saudi Arabia, but no buyers were found for the upgraded French tank, and only one Super AMX-30 was ever made.
There is something weird in this paragraph : there isn't the names of the German companies involved in the project (Gaijin often put their names in the devblogs) and why the Germans would modernize the AMX-30 ? They didn't develop it, they aren't manufacturing it and they aren't selling it. They have already the Leopard 1 which is selling worldwyde and there is no reason why they would put any money into the AMX-30 program.
It doesn't make any sense.
But still, we got here the caracteristics of the Super AMX :
– A diesel engine of 850hp
– A German automatic transmission
– New torsion bars
– New hydraulic shoc absorbers
– Side skirts
– A new FCS (MOLF, not MILF you Pornhub addict)
– A stabilized sight and gun
Keep in mind it's Gaijin words and in no case it's a primary source.
Now I have to find the C2 characteristics which I found in the French gound vehicles suggestion sub-forum :
This document is extremely useful :
It come from GIAT Industries which worked on the AMX-30 program, so it's a primary source and I've know the characteristics of the C2 :
– A 850hp engine
– An automatic gearbox (SF LSG 3000)
– Reinforced suspensions
– Upgraded shock absorbers
– Side skirts
– A new FCS (digital)
– A laser telemetry
– A stabalized gunner sight and turret
A lot of similarities don't you think ?
Still, I've to find exactly what type of equipment those two tanks used :
– For the Super, we know it's a German automatic transmission and on the C2, it's an automatic gearbox, the SF LSG 3000.
The SF LSG 3000 is indeed an aumatoc gearbox made by RENK Aktiengesellschaft in Germany which can go up to 1,100kW (more infos here :
Fun fact : this transmission is also used on the Italian Ariete MBT, the Spanish AMX-30E, the South-Korean K1 and on the AMX-40. Funny when we know the first prototypes of the AMX-40 used a 1100hp engine.
– The engine was more tricky to find. On this image ( https://imgur.com/ceyBrcq ) on the C2 suggestion, the C2 is supposed to have an Hispano-Suiza 850hp engine but we don't know what precise model it is. I've searched for a 850hp engine from HS but I found nothing (the more "recent" engine I've found was the HS-110 which is on the AMX-30).
I needed an other source. This site ( http://olivier.carneau.free.fr/kits/france/superamx30/index.htm ) came first on Super AMX research.
It is written :
The new engine is an MTU MB833 coupled to a ZF transmission.
Interesting, the Super was supposed to have a ZF transmssion like the C2 and I know have the reference of the engine. And logical that the engine is German when the transmission is also German.
I searched for the engine and I found this brochure from MTU : https://mtu-online-shop.com/print/3061601_MTU_Defense_Brochure.pdf
Page 12, Main Battle Tank section : AMX-30 / MB 833 Ka-501 / 625 kW (850 hp).
Weird, the AMX-30 (A and B) never had a 850hp engine, even less a german one. If we take the GIAt doc in comparison, then we can safely assume they are talking about the AMX-30 C2 and the C2 was indeed supposed to received a german engine and tranmission.
The FCS is the part were I'm not sure at all what it could have used :
According to Jérôme Hadacek (a french historian working closely with the French military industry), the Super AMX is supposed to received a German FCS, an unkown version of the EMES used on the Leopards in conjunction of a french digital FCS. It could be the EMES 12A3 which has laser rangefinder but also the EMES 18 which has a laser rangefinder and thermal imaging.
Now, the visual comparisons. I'm using this site ( http://www.maquetland.com/article-phototheque/1867-amx-30-c2-saumur), the mock-up on this site ( http://olivier.carneau.free.fr/kits/france/superamx30/index.htm ) and the GIAT doc (
https://forum.warthunder.com/uploads/monthly_2018_06/1607231691_AMX-30C2Info.JPG.138ee2313fb5059580449b04db2a1d44.JPG ) to make them :
– The tracks looks the same between the GIAT doc and the C2 at Saumur.
– Same thing for the wheels
– The side skirts are the same between the GIAT doc and the mock-up but the C2 at Saumur doesn't have any.
– I don't have a clear view on the suspension so I can't pronounce myself on it.
– Same thing for the shock aborbers
There is still a few visual differences :
– The C2 was supposed to have 20mm mais the Gaijin's Super have a 12.7mm
– The back of the chassis is slightly different between the C2 and the Super
– There is no German MG on the commander cupola on the C2.
Whith all those infos in mind, here my personnal theory : the C2 at Saumur is a modified B2 with the caracteristics of the C2 (the engine, the transmission, the suspension, the wheels, the tracks, the side skirts and the FCS). But the C2 isn't the Super beacuse of the different chassis, the 20mm instead of the 12.7 and the lack of German MG.
So here, we got the AMX-30 C2 which was built since it is a Saumur and a Super AMX, which there is no proof of it's existence.
We are missing the most important piece of the puzzle (the thing that Gaijin doesn't give a single fuck about) : the context.
And I can thank a thousand times Tantor57 for providing it to me.
Here it is :
In the 70, a program was launched to modernized the AMX-30 fleet which consisted mostly of AMX-30 B2. This program consist of : an overall better mobility (a better engine, transmission and suspension), a better armement (via better ammunitions) and a better FCS.
GIAT proposed this model as an export version because in the same time, they were working on the AMX-32 and AMX-40 program (and a litle later, the Leclerc program).
GIAT ask in the first time Hispano-Suiza to concievd a 850hp engine, but it wasn't ready at time and the current transmission couldn't handle the 850hp. So they ask KMW for help and KMW give them the engine (the MTU MB 833 Ka-501), the transmission (the ZF LSG 3000) and the suspension.
When GIAT received the pieces, both GIAT and KMW agreed to work together on the AMX-30 C2, and from the agreement the C2 received new tracks, new wheels and a new FCS.
But the C2 modernization program was cancelled shortly after and GIAT and KMW cooperation ended with only one C2 prototype constructed : the one at Saumur.
The name of Super AMX came probably when GIAT and KMW started to work together but there is no proof that it was really the name the tank should have received, and more imporptantly, there is no proof the Super AMX gaijin is introducing has really existed.
What can we learn from this ?
Gaijin fucked up once again, firstly by introducing something with little to no informations (good luck making bug reports on that (#howconvenient)), secondly by not introducing something avaliable data on it and thirdly and most importantly, introduced something that most likely never left the drawing board.
Thank you for you attention and I hope you've had a good reading.
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