Eurosatory 2016: French Army Leclerc renovation

IHS Jane's

Published on Jun 13, 2016

In this video filmed at Eurosatory 2016, Christopher F Foss, Editor, IHS Jane’s Land Warfare Platforms discusses the renovation of the French Leclerc Main Battle Tank.


Nexter to modernise French Army’s Leclerc tanks and DCL armoured vehicles

16 March 2015

Nexter Systems has received a contract from the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) to upgrade the national army’s Leclerc main battle tanks (MBTs) and DCL armoured recovery vehicles.

Valued at €330m, the contract represents the third order awarded by the French Defence Ministry under the Scorpion programme, which aims to modernise the French Army’s contact forces.

Under the contract, the company will deliver a total of 200 ‘Leclerc Renovated’ tanks, and 18 ‘DCL Renovated’ convenience stores tank to the French Army.

The planned upgrade is expected to enable the tanks to make the best use of its fire power and mobility within future ‘Scorpion’ joint tactical groups (GTIA).

In particular, the upgraded tanks will be able to effectively network with all components of future Scorpion GTIA groups with the development of specific interfaces for the new Contact tactical radio system and the Scorpion information system and command (SICS).

The upgrade programme will also boost the tank’s protection through the development of specific armour kits, which would enable the platform to better cope with changing threats, especially improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

In addition, the programme aims to maintain the tank’s capacity to provide French ground forces with the ‘first entry’ ability as part of an international coalition through a high degree of automation and diagnostic aid, beyond 2040.

Deliveries under the contract are scheduled to take place from 2020.

The French Army is believed to have 406 Leclrec tanks and 20 armoured recovery vehicles in service.

Built by Nexter, the Leclerc is a third-generation tank armed with a Nato standard CN120-26 120mm smooth bore gun, a coaxial 12.7mm machine gun and a roof-mounted 7.62mm machine gun, and offers protection against IEDs, mines and rocket propelled grenades.

Apart from France, the tanks are also operated by the UAE armed forces, and are being considered for acquisition by Qatar.

 This CAD model was shown when the Scorpion program was announced in 2013. Image

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.

Leclerc Main Battle Tank: Details

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