Renovated Leclerc Scorpion XLR MBT
Main Battle Tank France
The Leclerc Scorpion or XLR is a modernized version of the French-made Leclerc Main Battle Tank (MBT) designed and manufactured by the French Company Nexter Systems. In March 2015, The French Army Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) notified Nexter Systems of a renovation contract for the Leclerc MBT. This order constitutes the third operation launched by the French Ministry of Defence under the SCORPION program intended to modernize 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" armored recovery vehicles based on Leclerc MBT from 2020. The first production Leclerc MBT was completed by Giat Industries in December 1991 and handed over to the French Army on 14 January 1992. The goal of this program is to maintain the Leclerc MBT in service with the French Armed forces beyond 2040. According to military sources, the first two prototypes are planned to be completed in 2018 and the remaining 198 MBTs will be upgraded from 2020 through to 2028. The upgraded Leclerc MBT will have more firepower and protection. According to information published by the "Zone Militaire" website on December 31, 2021, French Company Nexter was contacted by the Indian Government in the framework to participate in the Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCVs) program of the Indian Army and could propose the modernized Leclerc XLR Main Battle Tank.
Leclerc MBT variants:
- Leclerc Block 1: the first version of the tank
- Leclerc Block 2: includes a number of enhancements including a climate-control system for worldwide deployment, enhanced software, add-on armor plates to the hull sides and an oil cooler for the final drive.
- Leclerc Block 3: with a number of improvements, including improved passive armor over the turret front and sides. This means that the turret stowage arrangements will be changed. The commander and gunner's sights incorporate the SAGEM second-generation FLIR camera, called Iris, for enhanced target acquisition under almost all weather conditions. New battle management system.
The renovated MBT Leclerc Scorpion / XLR will keep the same armament as the standard Leclerc tank which consists of a Giat 120 mm 52 caliber smoothbore gun designated the CN 120-26. The gun is fitted with a thermal sleeve and a compressed air system for blowing out propellant fumes. The turret is equipped with an automatic loading system that contains 22 rounds of ready-use ammunition normally loaded from outside through a small hatch in the back of the turret bustle. The new Leclerc will be able to fire two main types of 120 mm ammunition, the APFSDS (Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding-Sabot) with a muzzle velocity of 1,790 m/s and HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank) with a muzzle velocity of 1,100 m/s, both having a semi-combustible cartridge case containing a dual-base solid propellant. Nexter has also developed a new type of 120mm High-Explosive (HE) round designated HE M3M that can be set for impact, delay and air burst function. A 12.7 mm machine gun is mounted coaxially with the main armament. The Leclerc Scorpion is also fitted with a remotely operated weapon station mounted on the top of the turret which is armed with a 7.62mm machine gun.
The Leclerc is fitted with a remotely operated weapon station armed with one 7.62mm machine mounted on the top of the turret.
|Design and protection|
The layout of the Leclerc MBT Scorpion / XLR variant is similar to the previous version of the Lerclerc tank with the driver at the front of the hull, the turret in the center with the gunner on the right, the commander on the left, and the power pack at the rear. The Leclerc Scorpion is upgraded with a new armor package that includes additional modular armor on the hull and the turret. The front part of the hull side is protected by thick passive armor, while the rear part is fitted with wire cage armor to protect the engine compartment against attacks of RPGs (Rocket-Propelled Grenade). The rear part of the hull is also fitted with wire cage armor. It will have a combat weight of 57,000 kg and a length of 9.87 m gun forward, a width of 3.71 m, and a height of 2.53 m turret roof.
Each side of the of the hull is fitted with additional active armour and wire cage armour
|The Leclerc MBT Scorpion / XLR will use the same powerpack as the standard Leclerc tank which consists of a SACM V8X-1500 Hyperbar diesel engine developing 1,500 hp coupled to a SESM ESM 500 fully automatic transmission with five forward and two reverse gears and hydrostatic transmission. The suspension consists on each side of six road wheels, the drive sprocket at the rear, idler at the front, and track-return rollers. It can run at a maximum road speed of 72 km/h, off-road speed of 50 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 615 km. It can negotiate a vertical obstacle of 1.25 m maximum, a gradient of 60%, a slide slope of 30%, and an engineered trench of 3 m maximum.|
|The Leclerc MBT Scorpion / XLR will be equipped with an open electronic architecture, the new Contact tactical radio system, NBC protection system, night vision equipment and the SCORPION Information and Command System (SICS) and associated displays. The renovated Leclerc will be also fitted with the Barage counter-IED jammer, Scorpion diagnostic test device, coupling of inertial navigation and GPS system, new man-machine interfaces for commander and gunner, redesign of main system computers, and health and usage monitoring system. The BARAGE (Brouilleur Actif et Réactif avec GoniométriE) is built around a new-generation jammer that prevents improvised explosive devices from being detonated by remote control. The moment an IED is detected, it jams radio signals across a wide range of frequencies without interfering with the radio communication systems used by friendly forces. The laser warning system is now coupled to the multi-spectral GALIX passive countermeasures system. The effectiveness of GALIX and its munitions resides in its capacity to mask vehicles for threat protection (laser designator, laser beam rider, laser range finder, thermal camera, etc.) in not only the visible range but in laser and infrared (0.4-14 microns). The system is intended to detect any kind of laser threat thanks to its 4 detectors installed on each side of the vehicle with the possibility to deploy a 5th one dedicated to aerial threats. The detectors specify the kind and the direction of the laser threat. 24 launch tubes ensure a full 360 degrees coverage and the GALIX 13 ammunition provides an immediate (1 second) multiband smoke screening protection (broadband) effective from 40 seconds to 2 minutes (according to environmental conditions) and covers. A control box is integrated into the BMS and the system can be used in manual or automatic mode. As the previous of Leclerc tank, the Leclerc Scorpion will keep a fire-control system that includes a modular thermal imaging camera, Thales Optronics (Taunton) HL-58 laser range-finder and stabilized sights for the commander and gunner. The gyrostabilized gunner's sight SAGEM HL 60 combines low-drift gyroscopes, high-precision digital angular sensors, digital processors, and advanced sensors, a Thales Optronics (Taunton) laser range-finder, and a thermal camera. The tank commander has a SAGEM HL-70 gyrostabilized panoramic sight including an intermediate unit, an aiming sight and an electronic unit. The sight head includes a Galilean system for changing the field of view (20º or 5º) for magnifications of ×2.5 and ×10. It includes a second-generation image-intensifying night channel with a magnification of ×2.5 and a 13º field of view. The sight can recognize a target at 4,000 m and identify it at 2,500 m.|
|One 120mm cannon, one 12.7mm coaxial machine and one remote weapon station armed with a 7.62mm machine gun||Welded steel construction with additional armor, passive armor and wire cage armor.|
|France||72 km/h road, 50 km/h off-road|
|Contact tactical radio system, NBC protection system, night vision equipment, laser warning systems couple to Galix, Barage counter-IED jammer, Scorpion diagnostic test device, coupling of inertial navigation and GPS system, new man-machine interfaces for commander and gunner,||615 km|
|3||Length: 6.88 m; Width: ? m; Height: 2.53 m turret|
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