Land Weapons

Atelier de Construction Roanne

105 AU 50

The 105 AU 50 (also known as the 105 Mk 61 which was its manufacturer's designation) was France's first post-war self-propelled gun, intending to replace the numerous different types of US-supplied SPGs that had equipped the French Army during the late 1940s. A modified version of the AMX-13 light tank was used as the chassis, with the main armament being a Modèle 1950 howitzer which initially had been developed as a towed weapon. The howitzer is mounted in a fully enclosed superstructure offering some protection against small arms, and was an improvement to the open-top WW2-era SPGs then in use. Additionally up to two 7.5-mm or 7.62-mm machine guns can be installed as defensive armament. On the downside, the 105 AU 50 offered no NBC protection and was not amphibious. The 105 AU 50 was adopted by the French Army in the 1950s and also saw considerable export success, being adopted by Indonesia, Israel, Morocco and the Netherlands, the latter which featured a longer 30-caliber howitzer compared to the 23-caliber version originally installed. It was eventually replaced in French service by the more powerful 155 F3-Am, which was also based on the AMX-13.

The first prototype of the 105 Mk 61 was seen in 1950, with deliveries to the French Army beginning in 1952 as the 105 AU 50. No major variants of the original version were built, although vehicles acquired by the Dutch Army were equipped with a 30-caliber howitzer. A planned turreted version was trialed by the Swiss Army but was never adopted.

Preceded by:

105 AU 50 (1952)

Succeeded by:

155 F3-Am (1963)

Datafile

Design105 AU 50
TypeSelf-Propelled Gun
Year1952
Crew5
Dimensions
Length (w/Gun)6.40 m
Width2.65 m
Height2.70 m
Weight
Loaded16,500 kg
Ground Pressure0.80 kg/cm²
SuspensionTorsion bar
Performance
Speed (Off-Road)60 km/h
Range (Off-Road)350 km
AmphibiousNo
Fording0.80 m
Vertical Obstacle0.65 m
Trench1.90 m
Gradient60%
Powerplant
Engine1 x 250-hp
SOFAM
Model 8GXb
FuelGasoline: 415 L
Power/Weight15.15 hp/t
Armament
Main1 x 105-mm L/23
Obusier de 105 Mle 1950
Howitzer (56)
↑ 70° / ↓ -4° / ↔ 40°

Secondary1-2 x 7.62-mm
AAT 52
Armor
TypeSteel
Thickness10 - 20 mm
Max Effective20 - 26 mm RHAe
Hull Upper Front15 mm / 55°
Hull Lower Front15 mm / 55°
Hull Upper Sides20 mm
Hull Lower Sides20 mm
Hull Upper Rear15 mm
Hull Lower Rear15 mm
Hull Top10 mm
Hull Bottom20 mm
Turret Front20 mm
Turret Sides20 mm
Turret Rear20 mm
Production
Built337
Total550