French wheel tank Panhard M8

In the late 1960s, the French military decided to get a heavy combat reconnaissance vehicle that could be successfully used in a combat situation, even if it met tanks the enemy. In fact, it was a full-fledged wheeled tank with the appropriate weapons. Of course, by that time, the Panhard EBR cannon armored vehicles were still in service with the French army, but by the 60s of the last century, these combat vehicles could already be classified as obsolete.

The famous French company Panhard, which has a rich history. The company was founded in France in the late XIX century - in 1886 year. Panar was one of the first companies in the world to manufacture cars for sale. At the same time, Panhard became famous not so much for its civilian products, as for fighting vehicles, which were created for the needs of the French army. The company that still exists today specializes exclusively in the production of light tactical and military vehicles, producing equipment for the military and the police.

Throughout its history, the company “Panhard” has created a huge number of intelligence armored vehicles, which left a serious imprint in history and have been used by several generations of crews. As a supplier of armored vehicles for the French army, the company has been operating since the First World War. One of the most successful armored cars of the World War II period is the armored car. Panhard 178 / AMD 35. By the successful post-war developments include a family of cannon armored vehicles Panhard EBR, which could be armed with 75-mm and 90-mm guns. In addition, the company supplied the French army with wheeled armored personnel carriers, communication vehicles, reconnaissance armored cars and multifunctional vehicles that were used in many theaters of operations, including during the colonial wars, which were led by France in the second half of the 20th century.

French wheel tank Panhard M8
Panhard M8, Photo:

It is not surprising that at the end of the 1960-ies it was Panar’s company that was the first to respond to the call of the French military to create a new wheeled armored vehicle with powerful cannon armament capable, if necessary, to effectively deal with enemy tanks. Already in 1970, Panhard engineers created a “wheeled tank”, designated Panhard M8, in the same year it was introduced to the French military, and in 1971, the international premiere of the new product took place. New heavy armored car was shown at the exhibition, which today is known as Eurosatory.

In its chassis, the new combat vehicle was unified with the M2 BTR. However, the weapons were significantly enhanced. The 105-mm cannon with a rather impressive muzzle brake was installed in a fairly large-sized turret, the capabilities of this gun were sufficient to fight most of the tanks of those years (in terms of its ballistic characteristics, this gun was absolutely typical of all Western main battle tanks of that time period).

The main feature of the “wheeled tank” was to be the chassis, it was a unique undercarriage with a controlled hydropneumatic suspension. True, unlike the Panhard EBR armored car, which was also eight-wheeled, there were its own features. At the gun armored car Panhard EBR for driving on paved roads, only extreme wheel pairs were used. The front and rear pairs of wheels were equipped with regular tires with pneumatic chambers, while the two middle pairs of wheels were metal and had developed lugs. When driving on the highway, the car relied only on the wheels of the external axles, while the aluminum wheels of the internal axles were lowered only when moving off-road. This solution increased the patency of the armored car and reduced the specific pressure on the ground.

Panhard M8, Photo:

In turn, Panhard M8 could move normally on all 8 wheels on any terrain, including roads. In turn, the wheels of the middle axles, if necessary, on the contrary, did not rise like a Panhard EBR, but went down, raising the front and rear pairs of wheels above the ground. This solution designers had their own advantages. Raising the armored car to the wheels of the internal axes increased the capabilities of the “wheeled tank” to overcome various vertical obstacles, achieved the best output of the combat vehicle from the water (and it was floating), and it was possible to turn around almost in place (“by tank”).

The total combat weight of the vehicle was 12,8 tons, of which exactly 4 tons were on the tower with weapons. On the Panhard M8 was installed 8-cylinder diesel engine Hispano-Suiza HS115, which developed the power of the 250 HP. This engine can be found on various models of French armored vehicles, including tracked BMX AMX-10P. This engine provided the Panhard M8 wheeled tank with a maximum travel speed of 75 km / h when driving on a highway; on the water, the combat vehicle could reach speeds of up to 8 km / h. Cruising on the highway was up to 1000 km.

For some reason, the French military abandoned this armored vehicle. Perhaps they were frightened off by a complicated chassis, and perhaps it simply gave way to its direct competitors. One way or another, the French did not abandon the idea of ​​creating a heavy wheeled armored car with strong cannon armament. Already in 1976, the massive wheeled armored car AMX-10RC was launched into mass production in France, which is often also classified as a wheeled tank. Serial production of these armored vehicles with the 6x6 wheel formula, armed with the powerful F105 2 rifled gun, was carried out up to the 1994 year. The combat vehicle managed to take part in the war in the Persian Gulf, as well as in a number of peacekeeping operations, it is still in service with the French army, and the age of wheeled tanks itself is far from over.

Panhard M8, Photo:

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  1. +5
    24 May 2018 15: 15
    The French were the first to implement the concept of a wheeled tank. He shot and fled. And this tactic proved itself in Africa. The gun allowed to destroy old Soviet equipment and mobility was much higher than that of the tanks. Interesting articles were on this topic in the Soldier of Fortune.
    1. +2
      25 May 2018 11: 21
      Quote: Magic Archer
      The French were the first to implement the concept of a wheeled tank.

      As it were, the BA-10 appeared earlier.
      1. -1
        25 May 2018 13: 28
        Of course, but Ba-10’s armament was weak, so it was the French cars that became the first tanks on wheels hi
        1. +3
          25 May 2018 18: 54
          Quote: Magic Archer
          Of course, but the Ba-10’s armament was still weak

          45mm in the late 1930s is this "weak"? Nude ...
  2. +3
    24 May 2018 16: 15
    Meeting with more or less new MBT for this wheeled tank is extremely undesirable. Probably for this reason, the French did not begin to produce them after 1994.
    1. +1
      24 May 2018 16: 36
      But the Italians, on the contrary! They made a Centaur and even almost brought us in prt Serdyukov
      1. +1
        24 May 2018 20: 46
        Quote: Magic Archer
        But the Italians, on the contrary! They made a Centaur and even almost brought us in prt Serdyukov

        However, Italians and for more than 10 years do not release. For certain operations, such wheeled tanks are suitable because they can be more easily thrown over the air than MBTs. However, these wheeled tanks will not replace normal MBTs because they have reservations and were not close to booking MBTs.
    2. -1
      27 May 2018 23: 50
      But we take into account the reconnaissance vehicle, for our BRDM-2 (contemporary Frenchman) meeting with anyone at all (even with an IFV, not like a tank) would be fatal, and a Frenchman could destroy any tank even on board
  3. +1
    24 May 2018 22: 38
    Judging by the photo, it should also be floating. Something ahead of him resembles a waveguide.
  4. 0
    24 May 2018 23: 13
    "The front and rear pairs of wheels were equipped with conventional tires with pneumatic chambers, but the two middle pairs of wheels were metal" - I frankly hung here.
    1. 0
      25 May 2018 11: 03
      And so it was! I myself once broke I could this fruit of the gloomy French genius - Panhard EBR. The solution may not be the most aesthetic, but simple and quite effective
  5. +2
    25 May 2018 17: 22
    AMX-10RC is a great machine - it’s airborne, it floats, its weapons are powerful, it can be used for reconnaissance, but the Octopus is better than anything else — it’s airborne, its weapons are more powerful and its patency is higher on poor-bearing soils.
  6. +1
    27 May 2018 13: 31
    Does this tank live under return fire?
  7. +1
    27 May 2018 13: 51
    Quote: Magic Archer
    The gun allowed to destroy old Soviet equipment and mobility was much higher than that of tanks.

    Old Soviet equipment can also hit the Panhard M8, and no worse than vice versa laughing
    At the expense of power - Panhard M8 the same MBT.
    250ls \ 12.8 tons = 19,5ls \ tons, nothing outstanding, behind all the old Soviet tanks.
    Airmobile - yes, that's a plus.

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