Armor of 3rd Squadron 5eme Regiment Interarmes d’Outre Mer (3/5RIOM) at work in Djibouti.

The curious armored beasts used by these French Marines in the Horn of Africa is the 6×6 GIAT AMX-10RC fitted with a 105/47 F2 MECA 105mm medium-pressure gun.

The rounds are proprietary “short” 105s (105x527R) compared to the 105mm M148A1B1’s 617mm cartridge fired by the Royal Ordnance L7/U.S. M68 gun used on the U.S. M60, early M1s, British Centurion and German Leopard I tanks as well as the M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System.

With a standard weight of 15.8-tons, these armored cars are ideal for operations in the HOA, where roads are often not ideal.

5RIOM, with battle honors that go back to the Crimean War, has been stationed in Djibouti for the past 50 years, going back to when the country was the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas.

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