France had a Stryker MGS decades before America did

The M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System has been in service since 2002. Equipped with a 105mm main gun, an M2 .50-caliber machine gun, and a 7.62mm machine gun, it can bring the hurt. But despite the lethality and practicality of this vehicle, the Americans were actually late to the game. France had a similar vehicle — and it was in service for two decades before the Stryker arrived.

Meet the AMX-10RC. Like the Stryker, it is a wheeled vehicle with a 105mm main gun. It has six wheels — instead of eight — and was designed to fill a reconnaissance role. That may sound like heavy armament for recon, but if it were discovered by an enemy scout vehicle, like Russia’s BRDM-2, the AMX-10RC’s will stick around to tell the tale — the BRDM’s crew won’t be talking.

France's Stryker

An AMX-10RC moving — it can reach speeds of up to 53 miles per hour. (Wikimedia Commons photo by Sgaze)

The AMX-10RC entered service in 1981 with the French Army and French Foreign Legion. It packed 38 rounds for its 105mm main gun – compared to the 18 of the M1128. The vehicle is also equipped with a 7.62mm machine gun and can add a .50-caliber machine gun for additional firepower against planes and infantry when needed.

While the M1128 Stryker has a three-man crew, thanks to an auto-loader, the AMX-10RC requires four. The AMX-10RC has a top speed of 53 miles per hour and can go just under 560 miles on a single tank of fuel. It weighs roughly 33,000 pounds.

France's Stryker

While the AMX-10RC can go almost 560 miles on a tank of fuel, it sometimes needs to be hauled on a trailer. (Wikimedia Commons photo by David Monniaux)

The AMX-10RC saw action in Desert Storm, Chad, the Balkans, and in the Ivory Coast with French forces. This armored car was also exported to Morocco and Qatar. While production stopped after 540 of these vehicles were built, those in service are being upgraded with modern systems to serve until the ERBC Jaguar is ready for deployment.

Learn more about this French mobile gun system in the video below.