Hello everyone, in this suggestion we’ll be looking at the AMX VCI TA20. A good vehicle to fill up one of the many gaps in the French SPAA line.
The AMX VCI TA20 is one of many developments based on the AMX VCI chassis. The latter is a 1950s French IFV based on the AMX-13 chassis. It was developed for a 1952 request from the French government for an APC. The vehicle changed names a couple of times, starting its life as “Transport de Troupe Chenillé Modèle 56” and eventually ending up as VCI, which stands for Vehicule de Combat d’Infanterie. Just like its light tank brother, the AMX-13, the AMX VCI was a great success domestically but also abroad. More than 3300 units of the vehicle were built and exported to a wide variety of nations.
Of course, such a large production number means that a large variety of variants were developed over time. One of these was fitted with the TA20 turret. A french Anti-Air turret that itself had also been fitted to a large variety of platforms. The TA-20 turret is fitted with two 20mm HS820 SL autocannons. Each of these cannons has a fire-rate of up to 1.000 rounds per minute. An AAT-52 or AAT-NF1 machine gun is coaxially mounted and used for self-defense. The system can optionally also feature an RA-20 search-and-track radar, but can also feature a TV tracker. Other optional systems in the turret are an IFF system, laser range finder.
France never ended up adopting the AMX VCI TA20, or the TA20 turret in general for the matter. And while the combination of AMX VCI with TA20 turret was also not acquired by any foreign users, the TA20 turret itself would go on to become a success. It was acquired by many nations and fitted on to a wide variety of vehicles. Most commonly it was combined with the Panhard M3 platform, this system has already been suggested and forwarded on the old-forums.
- Length: 5.70m
- Width: 2.67m
- Height: 3.3m
- Weight: 16.7 Tons
- Crew: 3 Driver, commander, gunner
- Propulsion: SOFAM 8Gxb 8-cyl. gasoline carb. liquid-cooled 250 hp
- Power-to-weight: 15 hp/t
- Top Speed: 60 km/h
- Range: 350 km
- Main gun: 2x 20mm HS820 SL autocannon
- Ammunition: 600 rounds, all ready to fire
- Elevation: -5 to +85°, powered, 90°/s
- Secondary armament: 1x 7.62mm machine gun
- Traverse: 360°, powered, 60°/s
The AMX VCI TA20 is one of many options for the filling up of the French SPAA tree. I don’t have to tell you that the current state of the French SPAA tree is appalling, with a gap stretching from 4.7 to 8.3. A sad case since France has several lineups within this gap that currently all have to do with inadequate or no SPAA options at all. The AMX VCI TA20 would be a solution for the higher echelons of this gap. Its armament of 2x 20mm autocannons has much lower potency than the 30-35mm cannons found on the typical 8.3 or above gun SPAA systems. Gaijin also has the option of integrating this system without its radar, this would limit the systems awareness and effectiveness. Letting the vehicle use its TV tracking instead. These options could bring it somewhat inline with other early guided SPAA systems such as the M163.
If implemented correctly this vehicle could become a key pillar in any 7.3, 7.7 or 8.0 lineup that France has to offer. Something that all players of the French tree would surely appreciate.
Jane’s Armoured Fighting Vehicles 1988
Jane’s (picture provided by @LeGrandSarrazin )
International defence review April 1977, page 742