The company started developing these in the 1960s and they are now fitted as standard on the Giat Industries AMX-10RC (6x6) armoured car, the Spanish SANTA BARBARA BMR-600 (6 x 6) infantry fighting vehicle and the SANTA BARBARA VEC Cavalry Scout Vehicle (6 x 6) and the Thomson-CSF Crotale surface-to-air missile system. Production of all the vehicles has now been completed, although it could start again in the future if export orders were placed.
More recently they have been installed on the Italian IVECO/Otobreda (8 x 8) tank destroyer of which 400 have been built for the Italian Army with final deliveries taking place in 1996.
According to Messier, comparative tests of identical vehicles fitted with standard suspension systems and hydropneumatic systems have demonstrated that the latter have a marked decrease in vertical acceleration. This leads to an increase in the mobility of the vehicle, improved ride for the crew, lighter weight of suspension components, greater reliability and reduced maintenance requirements.
The six hydropneumatic suspension jacks, three either side, on the AMX-10RC act simultaneously as a pneumatic suspension spring and as shock-absorbers. The driver can alter the ground clearance of the AMX-10RC from 0.2 to 0.6 m by a single lever and can also tilt the vehicle left or right or back to front.