Nexter from France to modernize 200 Leclerc tanks of French army to XLR standard

As tweeted by the French company Nexter, a total of 200 Leclerc main battle tanks of the French army will be renovated to the Leclerc XLR standard according to the Scorpion program of the French Ministry of Defense.
Follow Army Recognition on Google News at this link

Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
Nexter Systems Leclerc XLR Main Battle Tank at Eurosatory 2018. (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The Scorpion Program is the most ambitious military program of French land forces. It consists of a $6.8 billion multi-company modernization effort to replace a part of the fleet of French army combat vehicles, with improved vehicles linked with new and unified communications and Battlefield Management System (BMS). This BMS is underpinned by the concept of “collaborative combat,” which seeks to connect squads, vehicles, battle groups, and brigades in a single network.

Part of the program includes the modernization of 200 Leclerc MBT (Main Battle Tank) to the standard Leclerc XLR featuring new tactical interfaces, new armor packages, RWS turret, as well as several additional sensors and grenade launchers. The modernization of the French Army Leclerc MBT will be carried out by the French company Nexter Systems.

The Leclerc is a main battle tank (MBT) designed, developed, and manufactured by the French Company Nexter Systems. The tank is in service with the French Army, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. The first production of this tank began in 1991 and enters into service with the French Army in 1992.

The Leclerc has a conventional layout for a modern main battle tank with the driver position at the front left side of the hull, the turret in the center, and the power pack at the rear. The tank has a crew of three thanks to the use of an automatic loader which contains 22 rounds of ready-use ammunition. It carries a total of 40 ammunition including 18 rounds stowed in the drum located to the right of the driver.

The Leclerc 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 Leclerc is powered by SACM V8X-1500 8-cylinder Hyperbar diesel engine developing 1,500 hp at 2,500 rpm coupled to a SESM ESM 500 automatic with 5 forward and 2 reverse gears. It can run at a maximum road speed of 72 km/h with a maximum cruising of 550 km with additional fuel drums.

Nexter from France to modernize 200 Leclerc tanks of French army to standard XLR 925 002
French army Leclerc Main Battle Tank (Picture source Army Recognition)

In June 2021, the French army procurement agency DGA awarded a contract to Nexter Systems to modernize 200 Leclerc MBTs to the Leclerc XLR.standard.

The Leclerc XLR keeps the same main armament with many new improvements including a new armor package to increase protection against IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenades) as well as new communication systems, fire control system, and new weapon station mounted on the turret roof.

The Leclerc XLR will be fitted with the SICS Scorpion combat information system from the company Atos and the Contact radio from Thales allowing the tank to be connected via a digital network with the other combat vehicles of the French army. The new computerized fire control system will offer the use of new 120mm ammunition in static or moving conditions.

The Leclerc XLR will be fitted with a new remotely operated weapon station manufactured by the Belgian company FN Herstal that will be armed with one 12.7mm heavy machine gun.