ELC EVEN 120 (French recoilless rifle armed light tank)

Would you like to see the ELC EVEN 120 be introduced to France?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

What type of vehicle should it be?
  • Tech-Tree
  • Premium
  • Event
  • Battle pass
  • Do not add it

0 voters

Where should it be positioned in the French Tech Tree if added as a standard vehicle
  • Bridge the gap between AML-90 and AMX-13-90
  • Bridge the gap between AMX-50 Foch and AMX-30 ACRA
  • Elsewhere (please specify)
  • Do not add it

0 voters

‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ s-l1200

I would like to suggest a potential Light Tank to accompany the French ground arsenal around Rank V, this being the ELC EVEN 120.

11-26-19R_GIF

History of the ELC EVEN project

The vehicles under the name ELC are part of a prototype project for light vehicles launched by the French Ministry of Defense. This project was to develop a lightly armoured, heavily armed fighting vehicle that had the capability of being airlifted for quick deployment. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, the French Military studied several concepts of light tank destroyers. Their objective was to produce a vehicle with the intent of being able to destroy Soviet IS-3 (Object 703) and IS-4 (Object 701) heavy tanks through the use of sufficient firepower whilst being cheap, simple to construct, and mobile. Many early proposals were submitted by the famous Hotchkiss, Renault, and an engineer from a small company Etablissements Brunon-Valette by the name of Even.

The problem with these early proposals was that most were armed with recoilless rifles. These gained popularity due to their non-existent recoil, lightweight, and immense firepower allowing for very light vehicles to be as dangerous as some of their heavier counterparts that sported the same caliber. Despite this, the guns lacked accuracy beyond short range and low muzzle velocity which also resulted in short range. This contributed to downfall of vehicles such as the T114.

The result of this was that in 1955, the French military realized that such weapons would not be effective in the landscape of Eastern Europe which consisted of plains and open fields in which the hypothetical conflict with the Eastern Bloc would have taken place. Therefore, it was requested that vehicles built to fulfill the 1953 requirements should be redesigned with non-recoilless weapons and the project was renamed to Engin Léger de Combat (Light Combat Vehicle), or ELC for short.

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ELC EVEN 120 Specifications
Even’s created one prototype and one mockup under the old requirements that did not disallow the use of recoilless rifles. The mockup was made in 1953 and was armed with four Brandt 120mm recoilless rifles housed in a turret able to rotate 360°. The shells fired by the Brandt 120mm had around 300mm of penetration which was 50mm better than the minimum of 250mm that was asked for.

The ELC EVEN 90 could perform a full turret rotation in 15 seconds resulting in a 24°/s turret rotation speed, this can be applied to the ELC EVEN 120 as I cannot find any information on this model’s turret traverse speeds. Same can be said for the elevation and depression angles of around -9° and +13°.

Even’s vehicle had a small silhouette due to its small size. 140cm of height with the turret, a width of 215cm, and a length of 530cm. The requirement for these light vehicles reflected the crew protection in
Even’s prototype. It sported 10mm of armour on the frontal plate and 8mm on the rest of the hull which was intended to only protect from 7.62mm rounds, anti-personnel landmines, and 105mm HE shell explosions from 10 meters away with the floor being able to withstand anti-personal landmines. Protection levels are comparable to that of the BTR-80A.
The turret armour is thicker than the hull with 15mm of steel which added 2.4 tonnes of weight onto the vehicle reducing its top speed to 68km/h and giving the vehicle its final weight of 7.4 tonnes. We can see in the cutaway, 16 rounds are stored to the left of the driver for reloading the guns.

image_2024-02-05_210044327-transformed

This vehicle was powered by a SOFAM 168 hp or Moteur Panhard 8 Cylinder 120CV (depending on sources such as the above cutaway) engine that was placed at the rear of the vehicle and was separated from the crew by a fireproof partition. This gave the vehicle a top speed of 75 km/h on-road, and 40 off-road as the vehicle also only weighed 5 tonnes.
Due to the small size of the vehicle the driver sat in a craddle-like position in his seat, with the gunner being situated in a small cramped turret (off-centered to the left) accessed by a top hatch. Kind of like something you would find in the Chapparal, Strela or Raketenautomat.

Communication was assured by the use of an ANVRC 7 radio placed at the rear of the turret, voice commands and could also be “formulated in case it did not work.” Likely resulted in kicks to the drivers back or commanders legs.

image_2023-11-21_192632638

A problem faced by Even was the reloading process of the four recoilless rifles. The breaches of the rifles were attached to the turret and could not be reloaded from within the vehicle like a conventional gun could be or even the T114.
There were two ways of reloading these guns both having to be performed by the driver. One way to reload the guns was to have the gunner position the turret which allowed the driver to shove 120mm rocket shells into the breeches whilst still lying down, this made it hard and slow to do but kept the driver protected. The second way was for the driver to exit the vehicles and manually load the rocket shells from the outside. A third option was proposed and that was to make the guns break open 90* like a break action rifle would and have the gunner reload these. This opens the opportunity for a very unique reload animation of the guns breaking open automatically and being reloaded.

The vehicle overall was not liked, the recoilless rifles gave the expected results of poor accuracy, which at a relatively low range of 451 m (493 yards) resulted in a horizontal dispersion of up to 4.36 m (14.3 ft) and vertical dispersion of up to 3.05 m (10 ft). The vehicle had trouble traversing uneven terrain and on the first day of the mobility trials it got stuck in a ditch and the driving shaft of the right sprocket could not absorb the shock and was damaged.

A variant of the ELC EVEN 120 was considered which implemented revolver-style drum magazines each holding 5 rounds and with a shell loading speed of 3-4 seconds but consequently, this reduced the vehicle to only having two barrels and increased the vehicle’s height by 20cm. This variant never left the drawing board as reloading the magazines was seen as more hazardous than the 4-barrelled variant, the increased height (20cm taller) increased the weight, visibility of it which went against its ambush role, and reduced maneuverability which was a key to the crew and vehicle surviving engagements.

image_2023-11-21_194016252

For those that read this far down, thanks, you can decide another factor of this vehicle if it is to be added as a reward.

Should the ELC EVEN 120 have access to its historical configuration AND proposed one?
  • Yes, as a modification
  • No, only the historical configuration
  • Do not add the ELC EVEN 120

0 voters

Outcome of the ELC EVEN 120
The trials performed on this thing in July 1956 had the results concern the EVEN platform and gun. At 451 meters the horizontal dispersion was up to 436cm and vertical dispersion of up to 305cm which made them very inaccurate. A redeeming factor was that the shells had around 300mm of penetration which was 50mm better than the minimum of 250mm that was asked for.
Due to the change of the requirements in 1956 and the poor firing and mobility trials that took place in 1956 Even went back to the drawing board and made corrections to avoid failures and poor results of the prototype. Even came up with two new versions both being tested November 1957. These two versions are the ELC EVEN 90 and ELC EVEN 30.

Conclusion
Overall the ELC EVEN 120 vehicle would be a great addition to the French ground tech tree, it provides a rare recoilless rifle armed tank to the small collection of such vehicles. In the interest of Gaijin and giving more incentive to add them, this variant of the ELC EVEN could be added as a premium vehicle around 7.7, just like the USA T114. It is a very unique design with a unique hull which is surprisingly only represented in World of Tanks. Adding more of the ELC EVEN variants could have people play War Thunder to experience a more realistic and deadly version of ELC EVENs and their other variants.
Alternatively, we can also allow players to have more choice over how they want to play, a smaller and more agile shoot and scoot 120mm with four barrels, or as a modification choice change it to the drum-magazine loaded variant for more variety and lets you stay in combat for longer and dish out more damage quicker.

Sources
US Army TM11-285 AN/VRC-7 Manual (Image of the radio only)
ELC EVEN with 120 mm Recoilless Rifles - Tank Encyclopedia
https://tanks-encyclopedia.com/elc-even/
ELC project - Wikipedia
Trials of the first ELC EVEN prototype - 10th and 11th of July 1956 - Album on Imgur
1955 ELC EVEN (Multiple images of the ELC EVE variants can be found here, great resource for modelling the interior and modules)
ELC Part I – Big guns on Small Tanks: ELC “Even” 4 x 120 | For the Record
https://en.topwar.ru/154610-semejstvo-legkih-bronemashin-even-elc-francija.html

3 Likes

M50 French copycat fr (m50 style general grievous vehicle should only be the m50 that’s what makes it special)

Should be added at around 8.0 or 8.3. +1

The French Ontos. +1
Or should I say, the Hon-hon-hontos.

Sorry, not sorry.

1 Like

What makes it so much better than the M50 with 6 barrels and similar amounts of ammo, similar armour, MG and better shells. If it got its 2nd configuration I could maybe see it go to around 8.0 but only if the modification raised its BR.

Closer inspection of the cutaway reveals it had 16 not 8 shells stored in the hull, they have a very faint outline over the driver.

All 6 barrels are modeled as one. If they fix that, I could see the funny French thing at 7.0-7.3 cuz it prolly has better shell

It has a worse shell though, over 100mm less penetration, as for the model, that in my opinion is an entirely different issue.

1 Like