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Char Leclerc

Char Leclerc: the French heritage of excellence

The Leclerc tank is a 3rd generation combat vehicle that stands out for its powerful weapon system. It is used for troop transport in missions requiring armored cars.

This equipment comes with fire and protection capabilities. It is the only all-terrain assault tank capable of firing at a fixed target while driving at more than 4,000 meters. But what do you need to know about these armored vehicles? All the details in the next lines!

Tank Leclerc French

The origin of the Leclerc tank

It was in December 1993 that the Leclerc tank entered the French army. It stands out for its powerful mobility and shooting ability on the move. This military vehicle is therefore one of the most formidable armored vehicles in its category. Currently, there are several hundred Leclerc tanks used by the Army.

Around the 1970s, the arrival of new battle tanks pushed France to carry out renovation work on its AMX82. After the withdrawal of plans to acquire foreign vehicles, France made the decision to develop a main combat vehicle. The name “Leclerc tank” was chosen in homage to the Marshal of France for his acts of bravery during the Second World War.

French Leclerc tank in action

How much does a Leclerc tank cost?

In the 2000s, the Leclerc tank was valued at around 8 million euros . During this same period, the Court of Auditors estimated the unit cost of the tank by taking into consideration the design, ammunition and accessories necessary for manufacturing. In total, the army spent nearly 15 million euros on the acquisition of this armored combat vehicle.

What are the specificities of the Leclerc tank?

The Leclerc tank initially stands out for its crew .

On the one hand, the pilot drives the machine via the cockpit which is located below a small hatch. This army tank has an automatic gearbox and a steering wheel. To improve visibility at night, this heavy tank has a light intensification device.

Leclerc French Tank

On the other hand, the turret operator 's mission is to shoot at targets. To do this, he operates from the command post. The war tank is also equipped with a thermal camera to better locate targets even at a distance of 2,000 meters. Finally, the tank commander sits to the left of the gun and his role is to transmit the coordinates using the automatic homing process.

Secondly, the Leclerc tank stands out due to its dimensions. It is 10.36m long with a height of 3m to facilitate camouflage for troops of soldiers. The tank is also equipped with driving wheels and self-propelled guns with a power of 26hp/t in the case of the latest prototype.

A light armored vehicle

Regarding the weight of the Leclerc tank, it amounts to 57t and its movement speed can go up to 71km/h on the road. The design of this combat vehicle was designed to withstand enemy blows during ground attacks. It is also resistant to grenades, missiles and rockets. The latest versions of the Leclerc tank are equipped with powerful reactive modules to resist the latest generation rockets. Armored troops can also protect themselves from enemies thanks to the ceramic plate that makes up the tank.

What are the different types of Leclerc tank?

The AZUR kit

This first model of Leclerc tank takes its name from the acronym “ Action en Zones Urbaines” . Its manufacture dates back to 2004. At the time, it was developed to strengthen the security of troops against enemies during field combat. Today, this combat vehicle serves in the tropicalized version of the prototype offered in the United Arab Emirates. Here are the different features of the AZUR kit:

  • a complete weapons system;
  • self-propelled guns protected by anti-rocket grills;
  • a running gear equipped with powerful armored blocks;
  • a communication line whose maximum range extends over 200m.

The Leclerc tank repairer (DCL)

This Leclerc kit, also known as the “new generation troubleshooter”, is equipped with the German Büffel troubleshooting device. The 12.7 mm long machine gun ensures optimal protection for soldiers. With its weight of 56 tonnes, this Leclerc tank model has a road speed of 65 km/h and a range which extends over a distance of 700 km.

The UAE version

This tropicalized version stands out for several characteristics:

  • a diesel engine with a power of 1,500 horsepower;
  • a MAG 58 machine gun which is controlled by the tank commander;
  • a chassis whose security is reinforced by pre-armouring.

The new Leclerc tank

This new Leclerc tank model is part of the Scorpion program. It is equipped with a new generation machine gun for the regiments, rocket protection kits and an anti-LED jamming device. With this new weapon of war, France hopes to strengthen its armament while awaiting the arrival of the MGCS, the new Franco-German battle tank.

Leclerc assault tank

The model that will succeed the Leclerc tank

In 2012, the Directorate General of Armaments developed the MGCS (Main Ground Combat System) following a contract concluded between France and Germany. This new tank model will be used to replace the Leclerc and Leopard 2. To reduce the costs linked to the design of these battle tanks, the KNDS group was created. The latter results from the merger between the French company Nexter and the German company Krauss-Maffai Wegmann.

The most important studies must begin in 2025 to lead to the creation of a first demonstrator, planned between 2025 and 2030. The new tank should be operational and used by the army by 2035.

Do you want to become a tank pilot? Discover our article on what you need to know before become a tank pilot !

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