Leclerc MBT AMX-56
Main Battle Tank - France
The Leclerc is a main battle tank (MBT) designed, developed and manufactured by the French Company Nexter Systems. The Leclerc is in service with the French Army and the army of the United Arab Emirates. The first production of this tank began in 1991 and enters in service with the French Army in 1992 to replace the old AMX-30. The French Army has a total of 406 Leclerc’s and the United Arab Emirates Army has 388. The Leclerc incorporates the most modern technologies to reach a high level in terms of mobility, firepower and protection. The weapon system integrates the latest generation of optimized fire computer equipment to provide very great effectiveness in the duel against the entire adversary armoured tank in all weather conditions during night and day at a maximum effective range of 3,000 m. This tank can perform all the tasks of the modern battlefield in extreme weather of hot or cold regions. In September 2020, it was announced that the United Arab Emirates donates 80 Leclerc MBTs to Jordan.
Leclerc MBT variants:
- Leclerc T1 and T2: the pre-production variant. was only built in 17 copies.
- Leclerc T3, T4 and T5: the final production configuration. 132 vehicles were built between 1992 and 1996.
- Leclerc T6 to T8: have an added air conditioning system on the back roof of the turret, and an extra splash guard added to the front hull.
- Leclerc T9: Athos thermal camera replaced with a new thermal camera called Iris.
- Leclerc T10 and T11: this variant has an added command display, similar to the American IVIS, and German TCCS. it has also improved armour, which eliminates ballistic holes found in the previous variants.
- LECLERC XLR: upgraded version of the main battle tank Leclerc for the French army program Scorpion.
- Leclerc AZUR: Action en Zone URbaine, "Improve fighting ability in urban environments"
- Leclerc EPG: Engin Principal du Génie, "main engineering vehicle": armoured engineering
- Leclerc DNG: Dépanneur Nouvelle Génération: repair tank
- Leclerc MARS: Moyen Adapté de Remorquage Spécifique: Armoured recovery vehicle
The main armament of the Leclerc is a GIAT (Nexter) CN120-26 120mm smoothbore cannon which has a chamber the same size as that of the 120 mm smoothbore gun fitted to the Leopard 2, M1A1 and M1A2. The turret is equipped with an automatic loader that contains 22 rounds of ready-use ammunition normally loaded from outside through a small hatch in the back of the turret bustle. With this system, the tank can fire at a rate of 10 to 12 rds./min. The cannon can use two main types of 120mm ammunition, APFSDS (Armor 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. A 12.7 mm machine gun is mounted coaxially with the main armament and a 7.62 mm machine gun is mounted externally on the turret roof. The 7.62 mm anti-aircraft machine gun can be aimed and fired under complete armour protection. At the forward rear and on each side top of the turret, there are seven launcher tubes that can launch various grenades, for example, smoke or anti-personnel. In addition, four vertical launchers are dedicated to the launching of infra-red decoys. Turret traverse and gun elevation are electric and both the commander and gunner are able to lay and fire the main and secondary armament. Manual turret controls are provided for emergency use. The turret can rotate on 360 ° at a maximum traverse speed of 40°/s. The gun elevation speed is 30./s with elevation maximum of +15° and depression of -8°.
|Design and protection|
The layout of the French-made main battle tank Leclerc is conventional with the driver sitting at the front left of the hull, the turret in the center and the power pack at the rear. The Leclerc has a crew of three, driver, gunner on the right of the turret, and the commander on the left. The hull and the turret are made in all-welded steel with composite armor which provides a high level of protection against Kinetic Energy (KE) and Shaped Charge (Chemical Energy - CE) attacks. The tank can be fitted with add-on armor to increase the protection against fire of anti-tank rockets and IEDs threats.
|The French Leclerc main battle tank is motorized with 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. Leclerc suspension consists on each side of six roadwheels, the drive sprocket at the rear, idler at the front, and track-return rollers. The Leclerc can run at a maximum road speed of 72 km/h and a cross-country speed of 50 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 450 km or 550 km with two additional fuel drums mounted at the rear of the hull. The tank can climb up to 60% gradient, move on 30% side slope, cross a trench of maximum 3m and vertical obstacle 1.1 m.|
|The Leclerc main battle tank is equipped with a fire-control system including a modular thermal imaging camera, Thales Optronics (Taunton) HL-58 laser range-finder and stabilized sights for the commander and gunner. With this system, the tank is able to fire on the move with maximum accuracy. The acquisition system incorporates a direct day channel with magnifications of ×3.3 and ×10, video day channel with a magnification of ×10, a thermal infra-red channel which allows for detection at 5,000 m, recognition at 2,500 m and identification at 2,000 m, laser range-finder channel, bore-sighting channel and an emergency mode with operation of the mirror. The modular, fully digital electronic unit is connected to the databus and the unit calculates and provides the angular position and speed of the target with a precision of 0.1 mrad. The commander has s a SAGEM roof-mounted stabilized panoramic HL-70 sight which incorporates a laser range-finder, eight-day periscopes and three control panels. The tank commander also has a 15 cm TV monitor that repeats the image seen in the gunner's sight and, in particular, the image from the thermal camera. A battle management system is installed together with a multiplexed numeric datalink with three computers. Standard equipment on the Leclerc includes NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) protection system, deep fording kit, fire detection and suppression system for both crew and engine compartments, night vision systems and a communications system from Thales. The Leclerc can be fitted with snorkels to enable fording at up to 4m depth.|
|One 120mm F1 smoothbore gun, one 12.7mm coaxial machine gun and one anti-aircraft 7.62mm machine gun.||All-around ballistic protection against firing of small arms and shell splinters. Composite modular armour.|
|France, Jordan, United Arab Emirates||56,500 kg|
|France||72 km/h road - 50 km/h cross-country|
|Commander and gunner fire-control, laser range-finder, computerized fire control, NBC protection system, night vision equipment, deep fording kit, fire detection and suppression system for both crew and engine compartments, battle management system and radio communication system.||450 km |
550 km with additional fuel drums
|3||Lenght, 6,88 m; Width, 3,71 m; Height, 2,53 m |
Length: 9.87m (gun forward)
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Pictures - Video