- Battle pass
- Do not add it
- Bridge the gap between the AML-90 and AMX-13-90
- Foldered with the AMX-13-90
- Elsewhere (please specify)
- Do not add the ELC EVEN 90
I would like to suggest a potential Light Tank to accompany the French ground arsenal, this being the ELC EVEN 90.
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.
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 of the ELC EVEN 120 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 90 Specification
The vehicle had the same technical specifications as the ELC EVEN 30. 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° of depression and elevation. It could do a full turret rotation in 15 seconds at a rate of 24°/s. 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-road. The ELC EVENs had a turning radius of 550cm and a maximum climb angle of 60%-70%.
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.
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.
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.
The ELC EVEN 90 was armed with a 90mm gun, the DEFA D 919 low-pressure gun, it could fire the Brandt-Energa shell, weighing 2.6kg at 600 m/s, penetrating around 300mm of armour and an effective range of 700m. A different shell was developed that had 1km of effective range with similar penetration values. The gun had a reload rate of two seconds between each shot with 25 shells stored in front of the commander and to the left of the driver. The autoloader itself had 5 shells ready including 1 loaded. The turret also featured a coaxial 7.5 mm AA52 machine gun with 1,200 rounds which still had its 300-round belts, giving it 3 belts in reserve and one loaded. The autoloader could be reloaded from inside the vehicle, this is much safer than the previous ELC EVEN 120 which had to be reloaded partially from the outside or completely exposed, even better vehicles like the AMX-13s had to be reloaded away from battle from the back.
By the time the 90mm armed turret was shown on the 1957 prototype plans were made by November to replace the gun with a newer model. The newer model could fire the 90mm DEFA feathered shell at a muzzle velocity of 760m/s, it weighed 4.6kg. This was the same shell fired by the ELC AMX bis competitor. This requirement was requested by the French Military after the 1957 prototype was shown with its 90mm turret. This means that the gun could fire the OCC-60-62 (wrongfully named so, it should be the OCC-90-62) that is used by the AML-90, AMX-13-90 and AMX ELC bis but at differing velocities
ELC EVEN 90 Outcome
Like the ELC EVEN 30, lack of funding secured from the Americans, French military budget being already stretched in conjunction with the president of France at that time President Charles de Gaulle focusing on the French nuclear program led to the cancellation of this program. The last tests on the ELC EVENs were done in 1963.
There were several variants of the ELC EVEN 90 all hosting different 90mm cannons with little differences.
Overall the ELC EVEN 90 vehicle would be a great addition to the French Tech-Tree, it offers a quick short burst of damage, being able to quickly disable targets at the cost of a long reload where you are vulnerable, you can use your size to hide from enemies or run off due to being a very light vehicle. This vehicle could offer a great premium counterpart to the AMX-13-90, not an upgrade or downgrade to it but better in different ways, it can dish out more punishment quicker but you have to count your shots, France lacks premiums all together too.
US Army TM11-285 AN/VRC-7 Manual (Image of the radio only)
ELC EVEN with 120 mm Recoilless Rifles - Tank Encyclopedia
ELC EVEN - Tank Encyclopedia
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)
Preserved Tanks .Com | Tank Profile
AMX ELC light tank | Secret Projects Forum (4th to last image)