Newest Leclerc XLR tank gets new RWS and FN Herstal 12.7mm gun

PARIS, ($1=0.88 Euros) — As part of the French Ministry of Defense’s Scorpion program, a total of 200 major Leclerc battle tanks of the French army will be upgraded to the Leclerc XLR standard, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing DefenceTurk.net.

Newest Leclerc XLR tank gets new RWS and FN Herstal 12.7mm gun
Photo credit: DefenceTurk.net

The Scorpion program is one of the most ambitious military programs of the French ground forces. It consists of a $ 6.8 billion upgrade. This modernization should cover part of the French land fleet of Leclerc tanks [200].

The Scorpion program also includes an upgrade of the combat management system. In the future, this system must control several multiple battles fought by different combat vehicles, ie. control in a single network.

Part of the program includes the upgrade of 200 Leclerc MBT [Main Battle Tank] to the standard Leclerc XLR, which includes new tactical interfaces, new armor packages, RWS tower, as well as several additional sensors and grenade launchers.

Newest Leclerc XLR tank gets new RWS and FN Herstal 12.7mm gun
Photo credit: DefenceTurk.net

Leclerc is a major battle tank designed, developed, and manufactured by the French company Nexter Systems. The first production of this tank began in 1991 and entered service with the French army in 1992. The tank is used in the French army, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan.

Technical specifications

Leclerc has a traditional layout for a modern main battle tank, with the driver’s position in the front left hull, the tower in the center, and the power unit at the rear. The tank includes the use of automatic loading with 22 rounds of ammunition and has a crew of three. He carries a total of 40 rounds of ammunition, including 18 rounds of ammunition placed in the drum to the right of the driver.

Newest Leclerc XLR tank gets new RWS and FN Herstal 12.7mm gun
Photo credit: DefenceTurk.net

The body and tower of Leclerc are made of fully welded steel with composite armor, providing a high level of protection against attacks with kinetic energy and chemical energy.

The tank can be equipped with additional armor to increase protection against fire from anti-tank missiles and improvised explosive threats. Leclerc is powered by a SACM V8X-1500 8-cylinder Hyperbar diesel engine developing 1,500 horsepower at 2,500 rpm, combined with an automatic SESM ESM 500 with 5 forward gears and 2 rear gears.

With its additional fuel tanks, it can operate at a maximum cruising speed of 550 km and a maximum road speed of 72 km / h. In June 2021, the French Army Supply Agency DGA awarded Nexter Systems a contract to upgrade the 200 MBT Leclerc to the Leclerc XLR.

Contains new additional features

The Leclerc XLR is a new armor package to increase protection against IEDs [hand-made explosive devices] and RPGs [missile grenades] and includes new combat systems, a fire extinguishing system, and a new weapon station mounted on the turret. It continues to be armed with many new developments.

Newest-Leclerc-XLR-tank-gets-new-RWS-and-FN-Herstal-12-1
Photo credit: FN Herstal

The Leclerc XLR will be equipped with Atos ‘SICS Scorpion combat information system and Thales’ communication radio, which allows the tank to be connected via a digital network to other combat vehicles of the French army.

The new computerized fire control system is expected to offer the use of new 120 mm munitions in static or moving conditions. Leclerc XLR will be equipped with a new weapon station with remote control, manufactured by the Belgian company FN Herstal, which will be armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun.

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