AMX-13M51 Ráfaga - What...?

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TL;DR: An AMX-13M51 with an M42A1 Duster turret.

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History:

The M42A1 Duster is an improvement over the standard M42 Duster, featuring a 500hp AOSI-895-5 engine, though the engine isn’t important in this case. After the US stopped servicing these vehicles, they needed a place to go. Venezuela received a number of them, employing them into their army. They had also employed 67 AMX-13s. 36 of these were AMX-13M51, better known as AMX-13/75 Modèle 51. The AMX-13M51s had begun to show their age and were temporarily retired for eventual 90mm up-gunning purposes. At least 10 of the AMX-13M51s came out of the factory, not with a 90mm gun but with twin 40mm Bofors mounted in the unmistakable M42A1 Duster turret, creating the obscure AMX-13M51 Ráfaga. To improve night-fighting capabilities, a large search light can be installed just above the cannons. One doesn’t need to be astute to be drawn to the massive tower the turret sits on. This was likely done because mounting the turret onto an unmodified hull proved to be either exceedingly difficult or outright impossible. Those who are astute will notice that the storage bins on the sides of the tower were taken directly from the Duster. These kind of just hang there, making the vehicle look very cluttered. These vehicles entered service, however, were quickly phased out after the acquisition of air-defense missiles. This conversion makes no sense on paper. Why would the Venezuelan Army mount their Duster turrets on a slower vehicle? Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much of a direct answer for this, but I’ll try to hypothesize to the best of my ability. There are two possible reasons why the Venezuelan Army would mount Duster turrets on a chassis that seems inferior. The first reason being that maybe the Duster hulls were becoming too old and unserviceable. I find this to be rather unlikely, so we’ll move on to the second reason. It’s likely that the Venezuelan Army was looking to standardize their weapon systems, mounting all of them on the same chassis. This would result in easier repairs as only AMX-13 parts would be necessary to repair the vehicles.

Place In War Thunder:

This vehicles is incredibly high on the weirdness scale. That factor alone should justify its addition, however, we’ll go bit further. French event premiums will always be welcome additions and the Ráfaga’s unique appearance is sure to attract many to it and the French tree. Gameplay wouldn’t be groundbreaking, however, as it really just is a taller and slower Duster. The spotlight, if added, could be a fun little gimmick and would provide light in night battles, at the expense of everyone knowing where you are, of course.

Specifications:

Armament: 2x M2A1 40mm Bofors and 1x Searchlight (optional)

Dimensions: 4.88m, 2.51m, 2.35m (L,W,H) (Dimensions of the AMX-13. This vehicle is definitely taller.)

Weight: 14000~kg

Armor: 10~mm

Crew: 4 (Commander, Gunner, Loader, Driver)

Ammunition: Same as M42 in-game.

Speed: 60~kph

Horsepower: 250hp

Pictures:

Three Ráfagas in storage:

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Side View:

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Ráfaga with searchlight:

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Ráfaga side view drawing:

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Sources:

 AMX13 Rafaga

Maquettes Dioramas Sampiero Models: AMX 13 Ráfaga

M42 (Duster)

AMX-13 - Wikipedia

M42 Duster - Wikipedia

https://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/coldwar/US/M42_Duster.php

2 Likes

What a silly creature, +1 for sheer silliness

1 Like

more AMX-13 more better