The Panhard AML (Auto Mitrailleuse Légère) is a fast, long-ranged, and relatively cheap armoured car with excellent reconnaissance capability. Designed on a small, lightly armoured 4×4 chassis, it weighs an estimated 5.5 tonnes, and thus suitable for airborne deployment. Since 1959 AMLs have been marketed on up to five continents; several variants remained in continuous production for half a century. These have been operated by fifty-four national governments and other entities worldwide, seeing regular combat.
The AML-245 was once regarded as one of the most heavily armed scout vehicles in service, fitted with a low velocity DEFA D921 90 mm (3.54 in) rifled cannon firing conventional high explosive and high explosive anti-tank shells, or a 60 mm (2.36 in) breech loading mortar with 53 rounds and dual 7.5mm MAS AA-52 NF-1 machine guns with 3,800 rounds, all mounted coaxially in the turret. An AML is capable of destroying targets at 1,500 meters with its D921 main gun. In this configuration it is considered a match for second-line and older main battle tanks.
AML-90 - Formally known as the AML H-90, or by its manufacturer's code AML-245C, the AML-90 was designed for carrying out rearguard duties and substituting for the heavier tanks and armoured fighting vehicles deployed in a more linear fashion at the front. Its major feature was its DEFA low-pressure 90 mm rifled gun, which permitted the anti-tank and reconnaissance elements of French territorial units to be combined into a new component capable of knocking out the heaviest vehicle likely to be ranged against it, the Soviet ASU-57 and ASU-85. This was a direct response to Soviet airborne doctrine - Moscow's tacticians then attached great significance to the deployment of paratroopers, with their own artillery and armour, deep behind enemy lines.