The AMX-30E (E stands for España, Spanish for Spain) is a Spanish main battle tank based on France’s AMX-30. Although originally the Spanish government sought to procure the German Leopard 1, the AMX-30 was ultimately awarded the contract due to its lower price and the ability to manufacture it in Spain. 280 units were manufactured by Santa Bárbara Sistemas for the Spanish Army, between 1974 and 1983.
First acquired in 1970, the tank was to supplement Spain’s fleet of M47 and M48 Patton United States tanks and to reduce Spain’s reliance on American equipment in its army. The first 19 AMX-30 tanks were acquired from France in 1970, while another 280 were assembled in Spain. It was Spain’s first mass-produced tank and developed the country’s industry to the point where the government felt it could produce a tank on its own, leading to the development of the Lince tank project in 1985. It also offered Santa Bárbara Sistemas the experience which led to the production of the Leopard 2E in late 2003. Although final assembly was carried out by Santa Bárbara Sistemas, the production of the AMX-30E also included other companies in the country. Total production within Spain amounted to as much as 65% of the tank.