International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons

Take action

Latest news

...

OFL 105 F2 APFSDS-T Round

French 105 mm Round, used in the AMX-30 tank. No longer thought to be in service in France, but may have been exported.

French kinetic energy round. Calibre and material unknown

 

 

 

 

The OFL 105 F2 is an Armour Piercing, Fin Stabilised, Discarding Sabot Tracer round. It is designed to be fired from the CN105 F1 gun fitted to the French AMX-30 tank. This gun is not thought to be fitted to any other tanks, but it can also fire ammunition designed for the L7 or M68 cannon, so the F2 round may be also be compatible with tanks that fitted with these guns, such as the US M60 or the Japanese Type 74.

The F2 is part of a family of ammunition for the AMX-30, which includes the OFL 105 F1 and OFL 105 G2, both tungsten based APFSDS-T rounds, as well as the NR 133 High Explosive Squash Head and NR 132 High Explosive Anti-Tank rounds. The reasons for fielding both a tungsten and uranium armour piercing rounds are not clear - the choice of ammunition may depend on the armour of the target, or there may be rules about the circumstances where uranium can be used.

Although the AMX-30 was first produced in 1966, the development of the uranium round is believed to have started much later, and the F2 is not thought to have been in use when France deployed AMX-30s in the 1991 Gulf War.

The AMX-30 has been exported to a number of countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Chile, Cyprus, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates. It has also been built under license in Spain. However there is no indication that the OFL 105 F2 was exported to these countries.

As with the other French DU round, the F2 is manufactured using US DU. Despite having over 250,000 tonnes of DU from their domestic and nuclear military programmes, France imported American DU in several shipments between 1979 and 1993. Less is known about the development of the OFL 105 F2 than its 120 mm equivalent, but it seems likely that the material for manufacturing it also came from a shipment of over 1,000 tonnes of DU which was sent over from the US in 1993.

It is not known exactly why France did not use domestic DU, but the most likely explanations are that domestic DU contained impurities, or that France lacked facilities to successfully manufacture the metallic DU-Titanium alloy that is used for penetrators. Certainly the US experimented with DU in armaments on and off for around 25 years before developing a DU alloy in the mid-1970s that they felt was superior to tungsten APFSDS rounds.

The OFL 120 F2 was manufactured by Giat Industries, now Nexter. As far as ICBUW is aware, the round is no longer in production, and as the AMX-30 is no longer in front line service, it seems likely that the F2 is also out of service.

The above image shows the penetrator assembly from a French kinetic energy round, but the calibre and material of the round are not known. The image is a licensed under a creative commons 3.0 license.