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AMX-30E

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The AMX-30E (E stands for España, Spanish for Spain) is a Spanish main battle tank based on France's AMX-30. Although originally the Spanish government sought to procure the German Leopard 1, the AMX-30 was ultimately awarded the contract due to its lower price and the ability to manufacture it in Spain. 280 units were manufactured by Santa Bárbara Sistemas for the Spanish Army, between 1974 and 1983.

First acquired in 1970, the tank was to supplement Spain's fleet of American M47 and M48 tanks and to reduce Spain's reliance on American equipment in its army. The first nineteen AMX-30 tanks were acquired from France in 1970, while another 280 were assembled in Spain. It was Spain's first mass-produced tank and developed the country's industry to the point where the government felt it could produce a tank on its own, leading to the development of the Lince tank project in 1985. It also offered Santa Bárbara Sistemas the experience which led to the production of the Krauss-Maffei Leopard 2E in late 2003. Although final assembly was carried out by Santa Bárbara Sistemas, the production of the AMX-30E also included other companies in the country. Total production within Spain amounted to as much as 65% of the tank.

Spain's AMX-30E fleet went through two separate modifications in the late 1980s, a modernization program and a reconstruction program. The former, named the AMX-30EM2 (150 tanks), sought to modernize and improve the vehicle's automotive characteristics, while the latter, or the AMX-30EM1 (149 tanks), resulted in a more austere improvement of the tank's power plant by maintaining the existing engine and replacing the transmission. Both programs extended the vehicle's lifetime. Spain's fleet of AMX-30EM1s and M60A3s were replaced in the late 1990s by the German Leopard 2E, and the AMX-30EM2s were replaced by B1 Centauro wheeled anti-tank vehicles in the early 21st century.

Although 19 AMX-30Es were deployed to the Spanish Sahara in 1970, the tank never saw combat. In the 1980s, Indonesia purchased several dozen AMX-30E tanks from Spain. In 2004, Spain sold 100 AMX-30Es to Colombia.

Users[edit]

  • Colombia
    • Colombian Army
  • Indonesia
    • Indonesian Army
  • Spain
  • Spanish Army
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