Leclerc Main Battle Tank

The Leclerc main battle tank (MBT) built by Giat Industries (now known as Nexter Systems) is operational with the French Army and the armed forces of Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates. The Leclerc was first operational with the French Army in 1992 and with UAE in 1995. Leclerc mk2 tanks with improved software and engine control system entered production in 1998.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAFrench Army Leclerc MBT

The French Army has 354 Leclerc MBTs in service and in September 2001 ordered the final tranche of 52, concluding a total order of 406 (plus 20 armoured recovery vehicles). Deliveries completed in October 2007.

leclerc_EAUUnited Arab Emirates Leclerc

390 tanks and 46 armoured recovery vehicles have been ordered by UAE. Deliveries of the tanks were completed in May 2004, deliveries of the ARVs concluded in 2008.

Leclerc MBT

Variants 

The Leclerc is a modern main battle tank. It is fitted with a 120mm smoothbore cannon connected to an automatic loader. During the production run ten batches were produced that can be divided into three blocks:

Leclerc Block I: The Leclerc Block I is optimized for the Central European battlefield. This block consisted of 149 vehicles produced between 1991 and 1996.
Leclerc Block II: The Block II allows for worldwide operation and has a climate control system. This block consisted of 178 vehicles produced between 1997 and 1993.
Leclerc Block II+: The Leclerc II+ has improved turret armor, a second generation FLIR sight and battlefield management system. A total of 79 tanks were produced in this block, but some of these upgrades have also been retrofitted to earlier blocks.
Leclerc EAU: Export version of the Leclerc adapted to the wishes of the UAE. This version uses the more reliable MTU-883 diesel engine which resulted in a longer hull and higher fuel capacity. The UAE model also has a remotely operated 7.62mm machine gun and higher level of turret automation.

Source weaponsystems.net

Leclerc MBT 140mm gun variant: Here

i81vr9SmX_Y

It is protected with advanced modular armor system, which can be tailored to the threat. Its armor is a combination of steel, ceramics and Kevlar. Damaged modules are easily replaceable. Furthermore they can be easily upgraded with more advanced armor modules. Turret and hull roof was designed to withstand top-attack munitions. Chassis of the tank is covered with wide side skirts. The main electrical systems were duplicated to improve survivability.

8387106146_2be57c06c4_b

Leclerc battle tank urban operations upgrade

nexter-to-renovate-200-french-army-leclerc-tanksFrench Army Leclerc MBT with Azur up-armour kits

In June 2006, Nexter unveiled the Leclerc optimised for urban operations. It is fitted with the AZUR kit, which consists of additional protection in the form of side skirts of composite material, bar armour on the rear of hull and turret to protect against rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and extra protection for the engine against petrol bombs.

A remotely controlled 7.62mm machine gun is also fitted in addition to the 120mm gun.

French Army Leclerc MBT with Azur up-armour kits

In early 2011, Nexter signed an agreement with the International Golden Group to supply Azur up-armour kits for the Leclerc MBTs of the UAE Armed Forces.

Azur up-armour kits on Leclerc MBTs of the UAE

Eurosatory 2016: French Army Leclerc renovation: Here

char-leclerc.png

The new armor (green) covers the side and rear section of the tank’s hull only. It appears to be similar or even identical to the Leclerc AZUR (Action en Zone Urbaine) that has been revealed in 2006. The frontal two thirds of the new armor seem to panels made of what seems to be reactive armor (either NERA or ERA) – this covers the whole crew compartment. The rear section of the hull and the turret is only protected by slat armor.

Four wire cutters and a new RWS (light brown) are added to the tank, two of the mounted on the turret roof and two on the hull section. Furthermore the number of the GALIX smoke grenade dischargers (yellow) has been increased dramatically – from 12 to 24. Two banks of 4 smoke grenade dischargers are mounted on the turret front, while the original GALIX launchers are increased in size (from 6 to 10 smoke grenade each). Laser warner sensors (red) also have been fitted to the tank, which could in theory work together with the GALIX system like a full softkill active protection system. The Leclerc Standard F1 is also fitted with a close proximity surveillance system (orange), consisting of three camera/sensor systems mounted at the turret sides and rear. Source below-the-turret-ring.blogspot.com

LECLERC tank Renovation

The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) notified Nexter Systems of the Leclerc tank renovation contract. This order constitutes the third operation launched by the French Ministry of Defence under the SCORPION programme intended to modernise the French Army’s contact forces. Valued at approximately €330 million, the contract provides for the delivery of 200 “Renovated Leclerc” tanks and 18 “Renovated DCL” recovery vehicles from 2020.

The planned renovation work will enable the Leclerc to make the best use of its fire power and mobility within future “SCORPION” joint tactical groups (GTIA). Thanks to the development of specific interfaces for the new CONTACT tactical radio system and the SCORPION information and command system (SICS), it will be able to effectively network with all components of future “SCORPION” GTIAs. Moreover, the upgrade of its protection through the development of specific armour kits will enable the Leclerc tank to deal more effectively with new threats, such as improvised explosive devices.

A 3rd generation tank with a high degree of automation and diagnostic assistance, the Leclerc tank currently gives the French land forces “first entry” capability as part of an international coalition. The renovation operation launched aims to maintain this capacity beyond 2040. Source nexter-group.fr

FINDERS battle management system

The Leclerc is fitted with the FINDERS (fast information, navigation, decision and reporting system) battlefield management system, developed by Nexter Systems. FINDERS includes a colour map display which shows the positions of the host tank, allied and hostile forces and designated targets and can be used for route and mission planning.

FINDERS battlefield management system

The system runs on militarized or ruggedized PC workstations operating under Window OS. Each unit uses common software modules shared by all systems, and role- specific modules developed for every type of application or vehicle including reconnaissance, armor, armored infantry carrier, light armored vehicle, command post vehicle, platoon leader vehicle etc. These specific modules enable the system to integrate with the vehicle’s navigation, communications, optronics, and weapon systems. All systems use common tactical terminals and graphical displays.

The graphical display depicts a cartographic (map) display of the area of operation, with situational picture showing the location of friendly elements, and identified or suspected targets. Selectable overlays are showing operational plans, enemy formation enemy movements, generated by intelligence analysis. Other templates show technical and logistical status and reports. The display becomes a centerpiece of information management through the combat engagement, as it provides the commander with full situational display, an effective tool for orientation and observation, identification and reporting about potential targets and threats, as well as timely activation of countermeasures. The system also enables control of communications equipment, management of on-board radio sets etc. SIT/Finders systems are interoperable with NATO standards including ADat-P3 and ATCCIS (Army Tactical Command and Control System). Source defense-update.com

Leclerc_sitIcone_grandeFINDERS battlefield management system

The French Army has selected Nexter to equip its Leclerc main battle tanks with a terminal information system (TIS) called Icone (ergonomic communications and navigation interface). The initial phase of the contract covers the equipment of more than 100 Leclerc tanks.

The TIS has been developed together with EADS Defense Electronics Systems. It permits the exchange of digitised data including tactical situation and the graphic orders displayed on a background map, between the vehicle and higher level command.

Leclerc main battle tank armament

The 120mm 52-calibre smoothbore gun is fitted with a thermal sleeve and muzzle reference system. Fumes are exhausted with a compressed air unit. The gun, which fires APFSD (armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot) and HEAT (high-explosive anti-tank) rounds, has a firing rate of 12 rounds a minute. The aiming system is entirely electrical for improved acceleration.

GIAT CN120-26 120 mm cannon (GIAT F1)

120 mm smoothbore cannon GIAT F1 of the battle tank Leclerc120 mm smoothbore cannon GIAT F1 of the battle tank Leclerc

The bottom piece comprises a downwardly opening case breech as well as the 120 mm cannon from Rheinmetall.The tube of the gun is hard chrome plated on the inside. 

File:Leclerc p1040880.jpgImage: wikivisually.com

The tube length of F1 is specified with 52 caliber lengths, ie 6240 mm. A Wärmschutzhülle and means for blowing out of the tube after each shot are also available. The blowout acts pneumatically. A framework, based on the ejector principle smoke exhausts, as on most tank guns is not provided. A device is that allows monitoring the Rohrverbiegung due to thermal stress and readjustment of the main riflescope without leaving the main battle tank at the mouth. 

The main parts of the gun are displayed in the following diagram:

1 – mirrors the Feldjustieranlage, 2 – heat cases, 3 – cradle, 4 – barrel recoil device 
5 – junction box, 6 – sleeve bag, 7 – frontal armor plate, 8 – gudgeon 
9 – operating finger for firing, 10 – adjusting device for automatic Hülsenauswerfen / no eject

For the F1 four new types of ammunition with combusting sleeve and steely sleeve base were developed. A sub-caliber kinetic energy projectile, a shaped charge grenade and each represents a practice round. The kinetic energy projectile reaches a top speed of 1790 m / sec and the hollow charge projectile an initial velocity of 1100 m / sec.

lecler10.jpgAutomatic charger with 22 cartridges

An automatic charger with 22 cartridges in a tape loader  and an advanced fire control system round out the modern tank cannon. For the secondary weapon, it was decided to use a 12.7 mm machine gun instead of the usual 7.62 mm MG-Tower. Translated by Google – Data kotsch88.de

Image: from the net
SPECIFICATIONS:
PROPERTY VALUE
Main weapon caliber (mm)
120
Length (mm)
6931
Barrel length (calibres)
51
Recoil stroke (mm)
400
Weight (kg)
2800
Muzzle velocity (m/s)
1790

Source army-guide.com

Leclerc_MBT_firing01

Since the emphasis was given to mobility and armament, the Leclerc punches slightly over its weight. The new smoothbore GIAT CN120-26/52 120 mm is 52-calibre long and is fitted with a thermal sleeve and muzzle reference system. This barrel lenght is also slightly above western tank standards (44 calibers are most common) which gave better muzzle velocity (1,790 m/s muzzle velocity for the APFSDS), at least until the introduction of the L55 Challenger. The fumes are not exhausted by a bore evacuator but calls for a an automatic compressed-air fume extraction system instead. The rate of fire is enhanced by the use of an entirely electrical aiming system, dual-axis stabilizer and an automatic loading system giving 12 rounds per minute on average. Ammunitions are fully NATO standards compliant (compatible with Leopard 2 and M1 Abrams ordnance), and includes the OFL 120 F1-A APFSDS (armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot), OECC 120 F1 HEAT (high-explosive anti-tank), OE 120 G1 HE, OFLX 120 G and BSCC 120 F1 for training and two replicas for handling training. Source tanks-encyclopedia.com

Leclerc (gun Giat CN 120-26)

The tank has an automatic loading system, which allows cross-country fire-on-the-move against mobile targets. 22 rounds of ready-to-use ammunition are carried. The tank is also armed with a 12.7mm machine gun co-axial with the main gun and a roof-mounted 7.62mm anti-aircraft gun.

12,7 mm M2HB machine gun co-axial with the main gun

M2HB_6

The tank is armed with a US-designed 12.7 mm M2HB heavy machine gun which is co-axial with the main gun, supplied with 1100 rounds. This feature is shared with the Abrams, although on the latter this weapon is roof-mounted. It also have a roof-mounted 7.62 mm AA-52 anti-aircraft gun, remotelly controlled, supplied with 3000 rounds. In addition, a second remotelly-operated AA-52 can be fitted on the turret as part of the AZUR (“Action en Zone Urbaine” or “Urban zone Action”) urban combat kit upgrade. Source tanks-encyclopedia.com

12,7 mm M2HB machine gun co-axial – Image: tanks-encyclopedia.com
Type Heavy machine gun
Caliber 12.7x99mm NATO
Magazine Belt fed
Operation Short recoil, closed bolt
Fire selector 0-1-F
Rate of fire 450 – 575 rpm
Barrel length 1.143 mm
Rifling 8 grooves, 381 mm twist
Muzzle velocity 887 m/s
Stock
Length 1.650 mm
Width ?
Height ?
Weight 38.0 kg without tripod
Sights Iron sights

Source weaponsystems.net

7.62mm AAT-NF1 machine gun

The AAT-52 has a peculiar design using a lever-delayed blowback mechanism. A telescoping metal buttstock is fitted as well as metal pistol grip with plastic grip plates. The barrel can be easily changed, with a light barrel available for infantry use and a heavy barrel for mounted use. The light barrel is fitted with bipod and carrying handle.

The AAT-52 fires the 7.5x54mm French round from interconnectable 50 round belts. The AAT-NF1 is a modified version to cater the 7.62x51mm NATO round using US M13 links. The rate of fire is rather high with a cyclic rate of fire of 900 rpm. The effective range from the bipod is 600 meters. This increases to 1 km when mounted on a tripod or vehicle.

Type Machine gun
Caliber 7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine Belt fed, 50 rounds
Operation Gas operated, lever-delayed blowback
Fire selector 0-F
Rate of fire 900 rpm
Barrel length 490 mm
Rifling ?
Muzzle velocity 810 m/s
Stock Retractable
Length 1.145 mm / 980 mm
Width ?
Height ?
Weight 9.15 kg empty
Sights Iron sights, barleycorn front and tangent leaf with U-notch rear, 200 to 2.000 m gradations
Remarks Optional bipod (0.82 kg) and monopod (0.69 kg)

Source weaponsystems.net

Digital fire control and observation systems

The digital fire control system allows the gunner or commander to select six different targets to be engaged in just over 30 seconds. The system’s digital computer allows realtime treatment of data from the tank’s sensors and sights.

The commander has eight periscopes and an HL-70 stabilised panoramic sight from Safran (formerly SAGEM).

HL-70 includes laser rangefinder, day channel, and second-generation image intensifier.

Commander station – Image: tanks-encyclopedia.comLeclerc_jefeCommander station

HL-70 stabilised panoramic sight

HL-70 binocular Panoramic sight – Image: tanks-encyclopedia.com

The tank commander and gunner take place in the front section of the turret, but in a lower position deep inside the vehicle at their own battle stations. The tank commander can observe the surroundings through 7 periscopes and the HL-70 binocular Panoramic sight (day channel X2.5 and X10 magnification, a night channel with X2.5 magnification). Source tanks-encyclopedia.com

Recognition range is 4km and identification range is 2.5km. The commander has a display showing the gunner’s thermal sight. The gunner’s station is equipped with gunner’s main sight, three periscopes and a visual display unit. The gunner’s stabilised sight is SAVAN 20 from Safran, which contains a three-field-of-view thermal imager.

Gunner stationMay 29, 2015. A french gunner is getting ready on board of an AMX-56 Leclerc tank during Exercise PUMA15 in Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland. (NATO photo by Edouard Bocquet)

SAGEM HL-60 gunner primary sight

SAGEM HL-60 primary sight – Image: tanks-encyclopedia.com

The gunner is given a SAGEM HL-60 primary sight (later HS-70) with a day channel X3.3 and X10, and night channel offering X3, X6, X10 and X20 magnifications. These sights are also equipped with a semi auto tracker for target acquisition. In addition the gunner has a SAVAN 20 stabilised sight, developed by SAGEM. Both the TC and Gunner can traverse the turret through an horizontal control handle. Source tanks-encyclopedia.com

The driver’s station has three periscopes, of which the centre periscope is the OB-60 driver’s sight developed by Thales Optronique (formerly Thomson-CSF), which has day and night channels.

Driver’s station

Galix combat vehicle protection system

Leclerc is fitted with Galix combat vehicle protection system, developed by Nexter and Lacroix Tous Artifices. Nine launch tubes for the 80mm grenades are fitted on either side of the turret roof. The Galix system can launch smoke or anti-personnel grenades or infrared decoys.

Nexter has developed the KBCM defensive aids suite which can befitted to the Leclerc. KBCM includes laser warner, missile warner, infrared jammer and the Galix system and can be integrated with the FINDERS battle management system. The French Army has evaluated the system.

SACM V8X-1500 Hyperbar diesel engine

Leclerc_motor2

The Leclerc is equipped with an SACM V8X-1500 Hyperbar diesel engine providing 1,500hp at 2,500rpm. An electronic engine management system is supplied by Safran. The SESM ESM 500 automatic transmission has a hydrostatic transmission unit and five forward and two reverse gears. The engine is fitted with a Suralmo-Hyperbar high pressure gas turbine. The engine provides a road speed over 70km/h and cross-country speed up to 50km/h.

V8X 1500

All this power was passed onto the ground by a new track system with double pin links, each with two sets of rubber shoes. Like the previous AMX-40, the tracks rolled on a set of six doubled roadwheels, heavenly spaced, of a new design. These are suspended by individual modern torsion bars systems which are electronically-assisted hydropneumatic modules developed by SAMM (Societe d’Applications des Machines Motrices), with a tension auto-adapting to the nature of the ground. The tracks are supported by six return rollers and the idler are at the front. Tracks vulcanized rubber layer was tested but rejected. Autonomy is provided by an internal fuel capacity of 1300 liters of diesel, in fuel cells mounted in the frontal hull sides, acting as an extra protection. In addition two drum tanks could be installed at the rear, of 200 liters each, which raise the capacity to 1700 liters. The operational range varied from 550 km to 650 km (400 mi), however the fuel drums must be jettisoned if the tank is to engage targets as they are restraining the turret full traverse. The refuelling system is high pressure, allowing a full replesnishment in 2 minutes in the field. The tank is fully amphibious, and can ford 1.1 m deep without preparation and up to 4 m with a full preparation. It is equipped with two schrorchel tubes stored on the turret’s back. It could also climb 40° slopes, cross 3 m trenches, 1,25 m high obstacle. Source tanks-encyclopedia.com

SPECIFICATIONS:
PROPERTY VALUE
Engine power output (h.p.)
1500
Cylinder bore (mm)
142
Cylinder stroke (mm)
130
Rated speed (r.p.m.)
2500
Maximum torque (Nm)
4850
Fuel consuption (g/h.p.h)
230
Weight (kg)
2500

Source army-guide.com

All this power was passed onto the ground by a new track system with double pin links, each with two sets of rubber shoes. Like the previous AMX-40, the tracks rolled on a set of six doubled roadwheels, heavenly spaced, of a new design. These are suspended by individual modern torsion bars systems which are electronically-assisted hydropneumatic modules developed by SAMM (Societe d’Applications des Machines Motrices), with a tension auto-adapting to the nature of the ground. The tracks are supported by six return rollers and the idler are at the front. Tracks vulcanized rubber layer was tested but rejected. Autonomy is provided by an internal fuel capacity of 1300 liters of diesel, in fuel cells mounted in the frontal hull sides, acting as an extra protection. In addition two drum tanks could be installed at the rear, of 200 liters each, which raise the capacity to 1700 liters. The operational range varied from 550 km to 650 km (400 mi), however the fuel drums must be jettisoned if the tank is to engage targets as they are restraining the turret full traverse. The refuelling system is high pressure, allowing a full replesnishment in 2 minutes in the field. The tank is fully amphibious, and can ford 1.1 m deep without preparation and up to 4 m with a full preparation. It is equipped with two schrorchel tubes stored on the turret’s back. It could also climb 40° slopes, cross 3 m trenches, 1,25 m high obstacle.  Source tanks-encyclopedia.com

The tank also has a Turbomeca TM-307B gas turbine auxiliary power unit. The hydropneumatic suspension system is from Societe d’Applications des Machines Motrices (SAMM).

UAE tropicalised Leclerc main battle tank

The tropicalised Leclerc is optimised for tropical and desert conditions to meet the requirement of the UAE. A new powerpack and diesel auxiliary power unit has been installed and the hull is extended at the back to accommodate the powerpack and larger fuel tanks. The Euro Powerpack has the MTU 883 V-12 diesel engine providing 1,500hp, coupled with Renk HSWL295 TM automatic transmission.

MTU 883 diesel

4l-image

Engine model   MT 883 Ka-500
Rated power max. kW (bhp) 1100 ()
Speed max. rpm 2700
Dimensions and masses
Length (L) mm (in) 1488 (58,6)
Width (W) mm (in) 972 (38,3)
Height (H) mm (in) 742 (29,2)
Mass (dry) kg (lbs) 1800 (3968)
Engine main data
Bore/Stroke mm (in) 144/140 (5,7/5,5)
Cylinder displacement l 2,28
Displacement, total l (cu in) 27,4 (1672)

Source mtu-online.com

For this and export versions of the tank, Nexter has developed the Leclerc Battle management equipment (LBME), a derivative of FINDERS. The HL-70 commander’s sight has been replaced by the HL-80, also from SFIM.

Leclerc NGRV new-generation recovery vehicle

The Leclerc new-generation recovery vehicle (NGRV) has a longer hull with seven pairs of wheels.

A hydraulically operated blade at the front of the vehicle is used to clear a path through battlefield obstacles. The vehicle is equipped with an hydraulic crane rated to lift 30,000kg loads and a winch with 180m cable rated at 35,000kg. A secondary winch is rated at 1,500kg. The crane and winch systems are supplied by Rheinmetall Landsystemes GmbH.

Leclerc new-generation recovery vehicle (NGRV)

The Leclerc DNG is the armored recovery version of the Leclerc. The acronym DNG stands for Dépanneur Nouvelle Generation which is French for next generation recovery vehicle. The French army uses the acronym DCL that stands for Dépanneur du Char Leclerc and Leclerc recovery tank in English. Instead of a turret a raised superstructure is fitted. A crane is mounted on the right and bulldozer blade in front doubles as the earth anchor for the 34 t winch. Both the French and UAE models are fitted with the same MTU-883 1.500 hp diesel powerpack. (Engine see above)

Type Armored recovery vehicle
Crew 4 (commander, driver, 2 engineers)
Length 9.15 m
Width 3.38 m
Height 2.6 m (roof)
Ground clearance 0.49 m
Weight 59 t combat load
Ground pressure ?
Wheelbase Tracked chassis, 7 roadwheels, idler front, drive sprocket rear, 0.64 m width
Turn radius ?
Engine MTU-883 V12 diesel, 1.500 hp at 2.700 rpm
Power ratio 25.4 hp/t
Transmission Renk HLSW automatic, 5 forward, 3 reverse
Speed 72 km/h on road, 55 km/h cross country, 38 km/h reverse
Fuel 1.500 L
Range 500 km
Wall 0.8 m
Trench 3 m
Gradient 60% gradient, 30% slope
Fording 1 m
Armor Steel
NBC equipment Yes
Night vision ?
Smoke 8x smoke grenade launcher
Remarks Dozer blade, 30 t crane, 34 t winch, 15 t winch
Armament 12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun
Weapon1 12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun on roof
700 rounds, 100 ready to fire
manual traverse and elevation
non-stabilized

Source weaponsystems.net

AMX-Leclerc-AZURImage: tanks-encyclopedia.com

SPECIFICATIONS:

PROPERTY VALUE
Crew
3
Weight (kg)
54500
Length (mm)
9870
Width (mm)
3710
Height (mm)
2530
Max. road speed (km/h)
71
Average speed on dry soil road (km/h)
50
Max. road range (km)
450
Vertical obstacle (mm)
1250
Trench (mm)
3000
Depth of fording, without preparation (mm)
1000
Fording depth (mm)
4000
Engine power output (h.p.)
1500
Number of forward gears
5
Number of reverse gears
2
AA gun caliber (mm)
12.7
Main weapon caliber (mm)
120
Auxiliary gun calibre (mm)
7.62
Ammunition of the main gun
40
Ammunition in the autoloader
22
Elevation (degree)
15
Depression (degree)
-8
Planes of gun stabilization
2
Ground pressure (kg/sm2)
0.9
Ground clearance (mm)
500
Length of track on ground (mm)
4318
Traverse arc (degree)
360
Fuel capacity (l)
1300
Number of smoke grenade launchers
14

Source army-guide.com

Main material source army-technology.com

Revised May 10, 2017

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