- In between the AMX-10P and AMX-30DCA
- Elsewhere (please specify)
- Do not add the ELC EVEN 30
I would like to suggest a potential Low-altitude SPAA to be added to the French Tech-Tree that lacks SPAAs, it would function similarly to the British Falcon but with no IRST, meet the ELC EVEN 30.
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.
Due to the change of the requirements in 1955 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.
ELC EVEN 30 Specifications
The ELC EVEN 30 was designed to be an anti-infantry vehicle that could fight infantry and lightly armoured vehicles such as PT-76s. It sported two HS.825 30mm guns which fired 30x133mm or 30x136 (depending on the source) shells with the velocity of 1000m/s. These were belt-fed by 85-round belts, two belts were loaded into the gun with two more in reserve giving it a total ammo capacity of 340 rounds.
The gun could fire API ammunition which penetrated 30mm of armour at 1km and up to 100mm at point-blank range. The guns were able to fire automatically like the British Falcon or shot-by-shot, like the USA M42 Duster. The ELC EVEN 30 was armed with two 7.5mm AA52 machine guns with each side having one, these were fed by 300-round belts with five belts for each machine gun, giving it 3000 rounds. This allows the ELC EVEN 30 to safely engage vehicles if it gets the drop on it by disabling the gun, tracks and machine guns then do flanking shots. These dual 30mm auto-cannons whilst not confirmed gave it the ability to act as an SPAA in low-altitude engagements, but it would have been very bad in real life and in-game if it is added.
The vehicle weighed around 7.4 tonnes, had a length of 530cm, width of 215cm and height of 180cm. The turret could achieve -9° and +13° making it have a potential secondary form of low-altitude SPAA, other than that it was made for ground fighting.
Its armour as comparable to the ELC EVEN 120 and 90. The vehicle 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 around 68km/h and giving the vehicle its final weight of 7.4 tonnes as all variants had similar weight.
This vehicle was powered by a SOFAM 168 hp or Moteur Panhard 8 Cylinder 120CV (depending on sources) 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-roadThe turret had a rotation speed of 24°/s completing a full rotation in 15 seconds. The ELC EVENs had a turning radius of 550cm and a maximum climb angle of 60%-70%.
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 driver’s back or commander’s legs.
ELC EVEN 30 Outcome
The entire ELC EVEN project stopped being funded due to President Charles de Gaulle who focused on the nuclear program for France whilst the Military budget was stretched a lot , additionally no American funding was accessed. Last tests were conducted in 1963. A few of these ELC EVEN 30s survive in museums.
Overall the ELC EVEN 30 vehicle would be a good addition to the French tech-tree as it gives France more SPAA options in their limited arsenal. It would be only good for low-altitude and short-range engagements though due to its low elevation angles and lacking anything like IRST. It could also work as a secondary function of ambush vehicles like the Wiesel 1A2 to destroy the barrel and tracks of enemy vehicle and shoot them in the rear, or scuttle off.
US Army TM11-285 AN/VRC-7 Manual (Image of the radio only)
ELC project - Wikipedia
1955 ELC EVEN (Multiple images of the ELC EVEN variants can be found here, great resource for modelling the interior and modules)
ELC Even 30, Lert 28.04.2017 23:43:23