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 Synergie du COntact Renforcé par la Polyvalence et l’InfovalorisatiON (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» (Dépanneur du Char Leclerc – Leclerc tank repair) 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 COmmunications Numériques TACtiques et de ThéâtrE (CONTACT) tactical radio system and the Système d’Information et de Commandement SCORPION (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.
Leclerc main battle tank
The Leclerc Main Battle Tank (MBT) enables armoured units to fight, defeat, and survive against an out-numbering enemy. Its ability to fire on-the-move, high firing rate and firepower, and exceptional mobility enables it to impose its rhythm on the enemy. It engages the enemy at a speed on 31 mph/50 km/h on all-terrains. It fights day and night, under all weather conditions and in contaminated zones.
Its all-purpose modular armouring, «hunter killer» function, stealth, agility and engagement distance award it an unequalled survival capacity.
Requiring a crew of only 3 men thanks to its automatic loading system, its weight in combat order is less than 58 tons in its latest version and its nominal power rated at l,500 hp/1,118 kW. Fitted with hydropneumatic suspensions, its maximum speed is 45 mph/72 km/h on the road and 34 mph/55 km/h on all-terrains. Its main weapon is the standard NATO 120-mm/52 caliber and it is equipped with a coaxial 12.7-mm machine gun, as well as a 7.62-mm roof machine gun.
It is equipped with a commander stabilized 360° panoramic sight, laser rangefinder, day channel and thermal camera (in its latest versions) and a stabilized mantlet gunner sight with thermal camera, laser rangefinder, day channel and video channel.