French Army Procurement Agency tests new Leclerc XLR tank 120mm cannon firing capabilities

The French Army Procurement Agency (DGA - Direction Générale de l'Armement) recently tested the Leclerc tank in its modernized XLR version at the DGA Terrestrial Techniques expertise and testing center in Bourges. The primary objective of these trials was to validate the firing capabilities of the 120mm cannon following the comprehensive modernization work. Further details about the outcomes of the test and potential impacts on future procurement decisions remain to be announced.
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The DGA has conducted firing tests with the new Leclerc XLR Main Battle Tank for the French army. (Picture source DGA)

The Leclerc XLR, the newly renovated Main Battle Tank for the French army, stands as the first fourth-generation main battle tank (MBT), encapsulating an innovative weapon system. It has been primed to serve as the French Army's primary tool for coercive action and pivotal decision-making.

This modernized Leclerc XLR tank boasts a suite of enhanced capabilities. With amplified firepower, mobility, and protection, the tank is fully equipped to operate efficiently in varied combat scenarios. Additionally, it is integrated with a state-of-the-art onboard computer and data transmission system. This system provides crucial command information, cementing the tank's position as a linchpin in the chain of command.

The tank's primary armament consists of one 120mm cannon. A unique feature of the Leclerc XLR tank is its ability to hit a stationary target up to 4,000 m away while moving, showcasing the impeccable precision and superior firepower it offers. The tank can maintain a firing rate of six rounds per minute. Complementing this is the secondary armament, comprising a 12.7mm coaxial machine gun and a 7.62mm machine gun mounted on the superstructure.

The Leclerc XLR also comes equipped with the innovative Galix System. This system is designed to hide fighting vehicles from approaching threats, providing much-needed protection to the main battle tanks and armored personnel carriers.

The types of ammunition compatible with the Leclerc include APFSDS (Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot), HEAT (High-Explosive Anti-Tank), and explosive rounds. The tank is fitted with an automatic loading system and can carry up to 40 rounds, with 22 of these ready to fire at any given moment.

The crew of the Lecleerc XLR tank includes a commander, gunner, and driver. The tank measures 10.6 meters in length (with the cannon facing forward), 3.6 meters in width, and 3.43 meters in height. Its weight varies between 56 and 63 tons based on load and conditions.

The Leclerc XLR is powered by a Wärtsilä V8X hyperbar diesel engine, which provides an impressive 1,500 horsepower. Also installed is a TurboMeca gas turbine. The tank's electronics include the Scorpion common vetronics, SICS, and CONTACT radio for efficient blue force tracking and augmented reality.

On performance metrics, the Leclerc XLR impresses with a maximum range of 615 kilometers. It can reach a top road speed of 65 km/h and 50 km/h off-road, with the ability to accelerate from 0-30 km/h in just 7 seconds. It has a fording depth of 1 meter without preparation and can handle gradients of up to 60% and side slopes of 30%.