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Lynx 6: Victory of Leclerc tank at NATO combined exercise Iron Spear.

| 2019

From 7 to 13 October, at the Adazi camp in Latvia, the French tank crewmen of the Lynx 6 Tactical Inter-Service Sub-Group (Sous-Groupement Tactique Interarmes, S-GTIA) participated in an inter-alliance exercise gathering the battle tanks of eight nations taking part to the enhanced Forward Presence (eFP). This demonstration of the full operational capability of the soldiers and their armament was organized by the Canadian force, the umbrella organization for eFP in Latvia.

Lynx 6 Victory of the Leclerc tank during the combined exercise Iron Spear
Leclerc MBT, winner of the Lynx 6 competition organized in the framework of the Iron Spear exercise in Latvia (Picture source: French MoD)

The purpose of the Iron Spear exercise was to make tank crews of eight nations maneuver, involving 28 crews from Spain, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Norway and the United States. The tank crewmen were able to train alongside their allies during targeting and shooting exercises, including one at night.

At the end of the exercise, the tanks of the eight nations were compared in a shooting competition, mixing speed and precision. Despite the high technical level of the competitors (the speed of shooting of the Norwegians or the accuracy of the Germans), it is a French crew who won the challenge after several hours of a contested competition. Their Leclerc surpassed, during this challenge, the American M1A2 Abrams, German, Spanish and Norwegian Leopard 2s, Italian Ariete C1 and Polish P91.

Decided by the Heads of State and Government at the Warsaw Summit in 2016, enhanced Forward Presence (or eFP) allows Allies to deploy a limited number of military forces in the Baltic States and in Poland. This non-permanent commitment aims to further strengthen the Alliance's defense posture by a deterrent, purely defensive system, according to a collectively validated plan. In this context, France engages in Estonia in 2019 a deployment articulated around 300 French soldiers and a S-GTIA composed of 4 Leclerc tanks and 13 VBCIs. This Lynx mission is integrated into a battalion commanded by Britain.


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