The AMX VCI (Véhicule de Combat d’Infanterie or in English, "infantry fighting vehicle’') is a light tracked vehicle developed and made in France for the French armed forces. Its story began during the early stages of the cold war in the 1950s, being based of the AMX-13 light tank. France had put out an army specification in 1952 which asked for a new APC to be developed to retire its aging fleet of WW2 era vehicles. During development the vehicle and name would change a couple of times. After a few rejected prototypes and refinement of design the AMX VCI would enter service in the French army where it would get the role of acompanying convoys, being a troop carrier and also depending on the variant, an anti-air platform. During its service it would be upgraded with stronger armament and would serve the French army up until 1973, where it would be replaced for a more conventional and modern design known as the AMX-10P. Despite this, France managed to gain enough attention from several countries around the world to be able to actually export the vehicle to several nations. Of these nations would include Italy who also wanted to begin phasing out some WW2 era vehicles which would still be in service. Specifically in the early 1960’s Italy had ordered ordered a lot of equipment from France, from this Italy managed to get ahold to around 80-100 AMX VCI’s. To note, Italy also purchased a big amount of French made SS.11 anti tank guided missiles, this ATGM would be designed by Nord aviation. The SS.11 Anti-tank missiles were bought to arm several infantry regiments and give them the edge when encountering an enemy tank. This pack according to sources were then delivered through the years of 1961-1966. The AMX VCI, although being called AMX-13 VCI in French service due to it being based of the AMX-13, Italy instead would rename the vehicle to VTT AMX-12, as of now the reasoning is unknown. As previously stated the main reasoning for this was to allow to phase out older vehicles, but there was also a need to bolster the mechanized infantries of the Italian army. For this very reason the primary user of this vehicle would be the ‘‘Bersagliere’’ regiments. Armament wise, one of its redeeming qualities was that it was modular enough for it to be able to install a wide vareity of weapon systems. These ranged from the regular 12.7 or 7.62mm machine gun, up to 20mm autocannons, anti air mounts and even dedicated ATGM carriers. Italy at the time had access to these vehicles and also the previously mentioned French made SS.11 ATGM’s, so they decided to experiment and converted a few to become dedicated carriers. The missile according to sources had the speed of 190 metres per second, and had a mass of 30kg. Sadly due to near to none documentation its unknown exactly how many would get this conversion, its likely that there was quite a few due to Italy wanting a dedicated ATGM carrier that previously they did not have access to. In Italian service generally however the vehicle was sadly not very liked, it had a lot of problems that would not allow it to be able to do many roles. Of these issues included the fact that the vehicle had light protection (In terms of survivalbility, the armour it had was around 10-40mm thick, which meant the most it could withstand was low calibre machine gun fire and at times shell splinters from grenades or artillery.) and lacked any sort of NBC protection. The vehicle was not amphibious and did not have any night vision devices to allow it to operate at night. Crews also often stated that the interior was cramped and had bearly any leg room to for the troops inside. If you paired all these together you ended up with a very low quality APC which is one of the main reasons it did not stay in service in the Italian army for long and ended up mainly taking on the role of teritorial defence. In terms of speed, the AMX VCI would utilize the ‘SOFAM Model 8Gxb’ engine with 8 cylinders. This engine allowed the AMX VCI to reach speds of up to 60km an hour with an overall operational range of 350km. Italy began to look for a replacement not long after it entered service, thankfully the Americans were more than willing to equip Italy with the FMC M113. Italy after begining to equip itself with the American M113 would mean that they would begin to phase out the AMX VCI. After they were fully phased out, Italy would likely sell these carriers to foriegn nation to recover some funds they had used to buy them in the first place. Some did not manage to get sold, they survive and are located in many different Italian museums and put on display.
x4 SS.11 rockets (2 on each side and likely carried more within the vehicle itself.)
Why it should be in game
I think it should be in game as Italy can benefit from having this vehicle in their tank destroyer line, possibly somewhere lowtier, it isn’t the most armoured either so it wouldn’t be very OP. The tree in general needs more vehicles that Italy actually used in service. I can also see France getting various ones they made added to their tree of this vehicle too which would make it more worthwhile to model and add into the game.
1967 AMX 13 VCI
AMX 12 E.I. LXIII Btg. Cor. D.f. Mantova 1970 da kit Heller scala 1:35
AMX-VCI - Wikipedia
Preserved Tanks .Com | Locations
Forze armate mondiali dal secondo dopoguerra al XXI secolo/Italia: esercito 3 - Wikibooks, manuali e libri di testo liberi
SS.11 - Wikipedia
AMX-VCI French armored personal carrier