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Leclerc



Overview


Leclerc

A Leclerc main battle tank in the field with open covers on the gunner's sight left and commander's thermal sight on the roof.
Source: Daniel Steger - © GNU Attribution - Share Alike license

Origin
France
Type
Main battle tank
Entered service
1993
Status
In service
Development
1983 - 1989
Developer
France - Giat
Production
1990 - 2008
Producer
France - Giat
Unit cost
€ 4.3 million in 2001
Number produced
796 tanks plus 66 ARV
Designations
AMX-56
Design project
Notable users
France - Army
United Arab Emirates - Army

Description


Introduction

The Leclerc is a main battle tank of French origin. It was developed in the late 1980's to replace the AMX-30 in French service. Compared to the AMX-30 the Leclerc is a quantum leap forward since it is one of the most modern and capable tanks in production.

Layout

The Leclerc has a conventional layout with the driver situatied in the hull front, the turret in the middle and the engine and drivetrain at the rear. The commander and gunner are seated in the turret which also contains the automatic loader. The design is highly modular as indicated by its modular armor package and ability to mount a 140mm cannon in the future if needed.

Firepower

The Leclerc is armed with a 120mm 52-caliber smoothbore CN-120-26 cannon that is connected to an automatic loader. All NATO standard 120mm ammunition can be fired but a range of French ammunition is used, including a APFSDSDU-T round. The automatic loader holds 22 of the 40 rounds carried and allows for a rate of fire of 10 rpm. The cannon is fully stabilized and connected to high quality fire control systems. Unlike most tanks a 12.7mm machine gun is mounted as a coaxial weapon while a 7.62mm AAT-NF1 machine gun is pintle mounted on the turret roof.

Protection

The Leclerc features modular steel armor that provides a high level of protection. Estimates indicate that over the frontal arc the Leclerc is less protected than the latest Leopard 2's, but the side protection is better. The modular armor is easily repaired and allows for easy improvements. An NBC system is fitted and the Galix self defense system includes smoke and anti-personnel grenades.

Mobility

The tracked chassis provides a good mobility both in the field and on roads. The 1.500 hp diesel engine provides a maximum speed of 72 km/h and a range of 450 km on roads.

Users

The main user of the Leclerc is France with over 400 in service. The sole export customer is the United Arab Emirates with 388 tanks that have been modified to meet local demands. Unless new export orders arise additional is not likely since the French army revised its requirement to 240 operational tanks and 100 spares.

Details


Leclerc

The Leclerc main battle tank during the annual 14th of July parade in the streets of Paris.
Source: David Monniaux - © GNU Attribution - Share Alike license

The Leclerc is a modern main battle tank. It is fitted with a 120mm smoothbore cannon connected to an automatic loader. During the production run ten batches were produced that can be divided into three blocks:

Leclerc Block I
The Leclerc Block I is optimized for the Central European battlefield. This block consisted of 149 vehicles produced between 1991 and 1996.
Leclerc Block II
The Block II allows for worldwide operation and has a climate control system. This block consisted of 178 vehicles produced between 1997 and 2003.
Leclerc Block II+
The Leclerc II+ has improved turret armor, a second generation FLIR sight and battlefield management system. A total of 79 tanks were produced in this block, but some of these upgrades have also been retrofitted to earlier blocks.
Leclerc EAU
Export version of the Leclerc adapted to the wishes of the UAE. This version uses the more reliable MTU-883 diesel engine which resulted in a longer hull and higher fuel capacity. The UAE model also has a remotely operated 7.62mm machine gun and higher level of turret automation.
Facts Leclerc Leclerc XXI Leclerc EAU
General
Origin
France
Type
Main battle tank
Crew
3 (commander, driver, gunner)
Dimensions
Weight
54.5 t combat load
Length
9.87 m gun forward
6.88 m hull
Width
3.60 m with side skirts
3.43 m hull
3.71 m side view mirrors
Height
2.53 m turret roof
Main armament
Type
120mm CN-120-26 L/52 cannon
Ammunition
40 rounds in total, 22 in automatic loader
Rate of fire
12 rpm max
Elevation
-8 to +15 degrees, powered, 30 degrees/s
Traverse
360 degrees, powered, 30 degrees/s
Stabilizer
Yes, both axis
Coaxial armament
Type
12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun
Mount
Coaxial, mounted above barrel
Ammunition
1.100 rounds
Traverse
Traverse and elevation as main armament
Secondary armament
Type
7.62mm AAT-NF1 machine gun
Mount
Pintle mount on turret roof
Ammunition
3.000 rounds, 200 ready to fire
Traverse
Manual traverse and elevation
Automotive
Chassis
Tracked chassis, 6 roadwheels
Idler front, drive sprocket rear
Track dimensions
4.32 m length on ground, 0.64 m width
Ground pressure
0.9 kg/cm^2
Suspension
Oleopneumatic
Engine
SACM V8X-1500 8-cylinder diesel
Power output
1.500 hp at 2.500 rpm
APU
Yes
Transmission
SESM ESM 500 automatic, 5 forward, 2 reverse
Fuel
1.300 L + 400 L external
Mobility
Power to weight ratio
26.5 hp/t
Ground clearance
0.5 m
Max speed
72 km/h on road
38 km/h reverse
Mobility
Max speed
72 km/h on road
50 km/h cross country
38 km/h reverse
Range
450 km
550 km with external fuel
Power to weight ratio
27.4 hp/t
Obstacle crossing
Wall
1.25 m forwards
0.6 m in reverse
Trench
3 m
Ground clearance
0.5 m
Gradient
60 %
Fording
1.1 m unprepared
4 m with snorkel
Protection
Armor type
Modular armor package consisting mainly of steel perforated armor
NBC system
Yes
Smoke
GALIX system, 2x7 smoke grenade dischargers
Equipment
Night vision
Yes
Sights
HL 60 gunner sight
HL 70 commander panoramic sight

Media


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Leclerc DNG

The Leclerc DNG, also known as DCL, is an armored recovery vehicle based on a lengthened Leclerc chassis.