The ERC 90 is an 8.3 tonne vehicle mounted with a 90 mm weapon, which is a reconnaissance 6 wheeled armoured all-terrain vehicle. ERC translated from its French meaning to English means ‘Gun-armed Reconnaissance Vehicle’. In December 1980 the vehicle was chosen by the French Defence Force (FDF) to go ahead and purchase the ERC 90. This was due to weight reasons, as the other competing vehicle for the role of reconnaissance was the AMX-10 RC.
However, this vehicle weighed too much for NATO (Hercules C-130) and French (Transall C-160) forces planes to carry; thus the decision was to purchase the much lighter ERC 90 Sagaie for this role. (GRV)
There was also an issue with the French military deploying in former colonies in Africa. The military needed a military vehicle that didn’t weigh over 8 tonnes as many of the bridges could only support from 6 – 8 tonnes.
(In no particular order)
(ERC 90 Sagaie)
The vehicle only has 10 mm of steel, which is lightly armoured for a vehicle carrying such a heavy weapon to try and combat main battle tanks. The vehicle has a crew of three, gunner, loader and driver/commander. The vehicle was originally built for export to try and thwart the seriousness that involved the hugely popular T-72 MBT. The vehicle can ford rivers 1.1 meters deep as well as transverse at maximum speeds on smooth ground at 90 k/m as well as having the ability to travel 100 k/m using only 25 litres of oil.