|Manufacturer:||Societe de Constructions Panhard et Levassor|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
The Panhard AML( called the AML 245 by Panhard) 60/90 is a light armoured car with permanent 4x4 drive which gives it exceptional mobility. It can carry either a 90 mm quick firing low pressure gun, or a 60 mm breech loading mortar as main weapons. Night vision equipment provides effective night time operations, and it is provided with an excellent telecommunications system.
During the Fifties, the French Army used the Daimler Ferret in large numbers. They decided build their own armoured car and Panhard started the production of the AML in 1960. Since then over 4000 vehicles were built and manufacture continues for export. The AML 60/90 have been exported to over 30 countries. 1300 AML 60/90 was also built under licence by South Africa under the name of Eland 60/90.
An APC (armoured personnel carrier) version was also developed, the Panhard M3 and the AML share 95% of working parts which caused many contries chose both the M3 and the AML to cut financial and logistic costs.
In 1956, following the successful use of the British Ferret scout car (200 vehicles were purchased) by the French Army in North Africa, the French Army issued a requirement for a similar vehicle but with a more powerful armament as the Ferret was armed only with a single 7.62 mm machine gun which, in the case of the Mk 1, was pintle mounted.
Panhard, which was building the EBR (8 x 8) heavy armoured car at the time, was awarded a contract to build the prototype which was completed in 1959 under the Panhard designation Model 245. Saviem and DEFA-AMX also built prototype vehicles but, after trials, the Panhard model was accepted for service with the French Army as the AML (Automitrailleuse LSgSre) and first production vehicles were delivered to the French Army in 1961. The total French Army buy was 210 AML 90s and 425 AML 60-7s; the French Gendarmerie bought 70 AML 60-7s and 45 AML 90s. The Panhard AML light armoured car was phased out of front-line service with the French Army early in 1990.
The AML has also been manufactured under licence in South Africa by the then Sandock-Austral Limited (Reumech OMC) as the Eland. There is a separate entry for this vehicle under South Africa. The Panhard M3 armoured personnel carrier, for which there is a separate entry, uses 95 per cent of the automotive components of the AML, and many armies have bought complete fleets of AML armoured cars and M3 armoured personnel carriers.
Late production models of the AML have had the original Panhard petrol engine replaced by the Peugeot XD 3T turbocharged diesel developing 98 hp and this is also offered as a retrofit package.
In June 1994, Panhard stated that a total of 6,035 Panhard AML (4 x 4) armoured cars and M3/Buffalo (4 x 4) armoured personnel carriers had been made in France with an additional 1,100 being made under licence.
There has been no recent production of the Panhard AML although production can start again if additional orders are received.
The all-welded steel hull of the AML is divided into three compartments: driving at the front, fighting in the centre and the engine at the rear.
The driver is seated at the front of the hull and is provided with a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the right with three integral periscopes, the centre one of which can be replaced by an image intensification periscope for night driving.
The all-welded turret is manufactured by Hispano-Suiza. The commander is seated on the left of the turret and the gunner on the right, both with a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the rear. The commander and gunner each have four L794B periscopes and the gunner also has a Type M262 or M37 sighting periscope. The M37 has a magnification of x 6. A searchlight is mounted forward of the commander's hatch. Either side of the hull below the turret ring is a door. The left door, on which the spare wheel and tyre are mounted, opens to the rear, the right door opens to the front.
The engine is at the rear of the hull and two access panels are provided over the engine compartment. The gearbox is crosswise and consists of two gearboxes in one (high and low), coupled on both sides of the bevel pinion. The low-range box is for cross-country use and comprises two low gears, a top gear and one reverse gear. When the low-range box is in normal drive the four ratios of the high-range box command the four upper gears of the range: sixth, fifth, fourth and third. The high-range box is for normal road use and has three low gears and one overdrive. There are Panhard-type ball differentials in the gearbox and in each reartransfer box which automatically prevent gear slip.
Drive is transmitted from the gearbox to two lateral transfer boxes via pinions to the rear wheels and via drive shafts that run along the inside of the hull to the front wheels.
The independent suspension at each wheel station consists of coil springs and hydropneumatic shock-absorbers acting on the trailing arms of the wheel mechanism. The tyres are fitted with unpuncturable Hutchinson inner tubes.
The basic vehicle has no NBC system or night fighting aids, but they can be fitted as optional extras, as can an air conditioning system and an amphibious kit. As far as is known the amphibious kit for the AML series was never placed in quantity production.
- AML with H 90 turret
This model is fitted with an H 90 turret manufactured by Hispano-Suiza and is armed with a Giat Industries 90 mm D 921 F1 gun which fires HEAT, HE, smoke and canister rounds.
A 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun is mounted to the left of the main armament and a similar weapon, or a 12.7 mm (0.50) machine gun, can be mounted on the roof for anti-aircraft defence. Two smoke grenade dischargers mounted on either side of the turret are electrically fired from within the vehicle.
To provide more mobile fire support, Ethiopia has removed the turrets from some of its AML-90 armoured cars and fitted these onto the Russian BTR-60 (8 x 8) series of armoured personnel carrier.
- AML with Lynx 90 turret
This replaced the AML with H 90 turret in production and has the same armament as the H 90 turret but can be fitted with passive night vision equipment, a laser range-finder and powered traverse.
- AML with HE 60-7 turret
This model is fitted with an H 60 turret armed with twin 7.62 mm machine guns on the left and a single 60 mm mortar on the right. The machine guns can be elevated from -15 to +60° and the mortar from -15 to +80°. The TDA Model HB 60 can be used in the direct role up to a range of 300 m or in the indirect role up to a range of 2,600 m. In the basic model, 53 mortar bombs and 3,800 rounds of 7.62 mm machine gun ammunition are carried; if additional radios are installed for the command role, ammunition is reduced to 32 mortar bombs and 3,200 rounds of machine gun ammunition. Types of mortar bomb include HE, canister, smoke and illuminating.
The turret is provided with a large two-piece hatch cover that opens to the front and rear of the vehicle, seven periscopes (Model L794B) and an M112/M113 periscope with a magnification of x 5 for aiming.
In 1992, Manroy Engineering of the UK completed a contract to replace the 60 mm mortars in Irish Army AMLs with the Manroy 0.5 in (12.7 mm) M2 HB QCB (Quick Change Barrel) machine gun.
This entailed removing the mortar and mantlet and replacing them with a new mantlet and cradle for the machine gun.
Modifications are also carried out to the sights and ammunition feed systems as well as the ammunition and storage systems. An electric firing system was installed for the 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine gun.
- AML with HE 60-12 turret
This is almost identical to the HE 60-7 turret but is armed with a 12.7 mm (0.50 in) machine gun and a TDA 60 mm HB 60 mortar. The machine gun can be elevated from -15 to +60° and the mortar from -15 to +80°. A total of 43 mortar bombs and 1,300 rounds of 12.7 mm machine gun ammunition is carried. If additional radios are carried, ammunition load is reduced to 31 rounds of 60 mm and 900 rounds of 12.7 mm machine gun ammunition. Loaded weight of an AML with the HE 60-12 turret is 4,800 kg.
- AML with HE 60-20 turret
This is almost identical to the HE 60-7 turret but is armed with a 20 mm cannon and a 60 mm DTAT Model CS or a TDA HB 60 mortar. The cannon can be elevated from -8 to +50° and the mortar from -15 to +80°. When fitted with the DTAT mortar 53 mortar bombs and 500 rounds of 20 mm ammunition are carried; if the TDA mortar is installed, 43 mortar bombs are carried and 20 mm ammunition supply remains the same. If additional radios are installed for command vehicle use, the DTAT mortar is provided with 32 mortar bombs and the TDA with 31, and in both cases 500 rounds of 20 mm ammunition are carried. If required, a 7.62 mm machine gun can be mounted on the roof of the turret for anti-aircraft defence (this applies to all HE 60 turrets). This turret is no longer in production. Loaded weight of an AML with the HE 60-20 turret is 4,800 kg.
- AML with HE 60-20 Serval turret
This version of the AML is fitted with an HE 60-20 Serval turret designed and manufactured by Hispano-Suiza and is armed with a 60 mm breech-loaded mortar which can be elevated from -8 to +80°, and a 20 mm cannon mounted on the right side of the turret which can be elevated from -8 to +50°. The 60 mm mortar can be either a TDA 60 mm HB 60 (maximum range 2,600 m with M72 bomb) or a TDA 60 mm HB 60 LP long mortar (maximum range with LP bomb being 5,000 m). The 20 mm cannon can be either a French M693 dual-feed cannon with 300 rounds of HE and 37 rounds of AP ammunition for ready use or an HS-820 Oerlikon KAD-B16 single-feed cannon with 300 rounds of ready to use ammunition. If required, a 7.62 mm machine gun can be mounted coaxiallyto the right of the 20 mm cannon. Vision equipment includes a sighting periscope and nine observation periscopes, with the option of fitting a night periscope.
- AML with S 530 turret
This was developed specifically for export and is a basic AML fitted with a turret manufactured by SAMM (Societe d'Applications des Machines Motrices), armed with twin 20 mm M621 cannon with an elevation of +75°, depression of -10°, and turret traverse of 360°. A total of 600 rounds of 20 mm ammunition is carried and the gunner can select either single shots, bursts or full automatic. Cyclic rate of fire is 740 rds/min/barrel. The only known user of this version is Venezuela, which has 12 vehicles in service.
- AML re-engining
As the 4HD petrol engine installed in the Panhard AML and the M3 is no longer produced, Panhard is offering a conversion kit to enable users of these vehicles to retrofit the new Peugeot XD3T liquid-cooled diesel engine in their own facilities with the minimum of specialised equipment.
In addition, a more powerful air compressor can be fitted, as can Citroen brakes with disc brakes on front wheels.
Early in 1993, Panhard announced that Ireland had become the latest country to order its upgrade package to replace the existing petrol engine with a more fuel-efficient diesel engine.
In total, eight countries have now selected the modernisation package and the number of vehicles upgraded has now exceeded 300.
Senegal, Rwanda, Ireland, Morocco and four undisclosed countries are the other clients for the upgrades. Morocco is the largest customer with over 200 vehicles converted.
- AML weapon modernisation
Panhard can upgrade the AML 90 in three key areas to improve its combat effectiveness: (1) replacement of current infra-red night vision equipment used by the commander, gunner and driver by new image intensification equipment (2) the installation of a laser range-finder above the 90 mm gun to increase first round hit capability
(3) use of Giat Industries APFSDS ammunition. In order to fire this ammunition the muzzle brake and recoil brake have to be modified but the same number of rounds of 90 mm ammunition can be carried in the same ready racks.
- AML with 40 mm grenade launcher (AML 40)
This was first shown in 1990 and is essentially a
Panhard AML 60-7 with the turret modified to accept a 7.62 mm machine gun (right) and the Spanish SANTA BARBARA 40 mm automatic grenade launcher which has a maximum range of 2,200 m, a cyclic rate of fire of 200 rds/min and a muzzle velocity of 240 m/s. A total of 225 rounds of 40 mm and 1,250 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition Is carried. By early 1999 this model had not yet entered production.
- FDS for Irish AML armoured cars
Building on their experience in the design, development and production of a wide range of turrets for tracked and wheeled armoured fighting vehicles, the LIW division of Denel, South Africa, have developed the Fire Detecting System (FDS) for light turret systems.
The FDS has been developed by LIW as a private venture and is aimed at the export market. It can be rapidly installed on one or two person turrets armed with a weapon system ranging from a 7.62 mm machine gun up to a 90 mm gun.
The FDS consists of two main components, the passive night sight assembly and second the laser range-finder assembly.
Externally mounted night sight elements consist of the night elbow, armour hood, window, armour flap with image intensification iris, wiper and associated water pipe. The internally mounted elements include the remote control at the gunners station, video display unit and the electronic unit.
Externally mounted laser range-finder elements are the laser range-finder, armoured hood, window, armour flap, wiper, water pipe and boresight with mechanical adjustment. Internally mounted elements include laser range-finder remote-control unit with range display for the gunner, range display for the commander and an electronic unit.
The external elements of the FDS are mounted coaxial with the main armament and move in elevation with this weapon. The FDS can be rapidly installed on light armoured vehicles with electrical power being received from the existing turret power supply.
For trials purposes the LIW FDS has been fitted to a South African Eland 20 mm (4 x 4) light armoured car which is a licence built and further developed version of the French Panhard AML series of vehicle.
When fitted with the EDS, a light armoured vehicle can identify and engage targets at a longer range and with a higher first round hit probability under day and night conditions.
The first customer for the FDS is understood to be Ireland who has placed an order with LIW for 16 complete 20 mm Eland two person turrets fitted with the FDS which will be installed on some of their existing French supplied Panhard AML (4 x 4) light armoured cars.
An additional 16 EDS systems will be supplied to Ireland for installation on existing Panhard AML 90 vehicles currently in service.
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