The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) notified Nexter Systems of the Leclerc tank
renovation contract. This order constitutes the third operation launched by the French
Ministry of Defence under the SCORPION programme intended to modernise the French
Army’s contact forces.
Valued at approximately €330 million, the contract provides for the delivery of 200 “Renovated Leclerc” tanks, representing half of the current inventory, and 18 “Renovated DCL” recovery vehicles. Deliveries of the upgraded Leclerc are expected to begin in 2020.
The planned renovation work will enable the Leclerc to make the best use of its fire power and mobility within future “SCORPION” joint tactical groups (GTIA). Thanks to the development of specific interfaces for the new CONTACT tactical radio system and the
SCORPION information and command system (), it will be able to effectively network
with all components of future “SCORPION” GTIAs. Moreover, the upgrade of its protection
through the development of specific armour kits will enable the Leclerc tank to deal more
effectively with new threats, such as improvised explosive devices.
A 3rd generation tank with a high degree of automation and diagnostic assistance, the Leclerc
tank currently gives the French land forces “first entry” capability as part of an international
coalition. The renovation operation launched aims to maintain this capacity beyond 2040.
[ismember]Leclerc, built by Nexter (formerly GIAT Industries) is the heaviest armored fighting vehicle in the French Army inventory. The latest variant SXXI is fitted with an enhanced protection suite comprising modular composite armor that include titanium, tungsten and semi-reactive layers. The main armament is the GIAT CN120-26/52 CAL 120mm tank gun, coupled with an autoloader with 22 rounds and 18 round reload. It is also equipped with two machine guns – a 12.7mm coax and 7.62 at the commander’s hatch.
Over 800 Leclerc tanks were built between 1990 and 2008. about 240 are currently operational by four tank regiments of the French Army. The UAE land forces are also operating about 380 Leclerc tanks. The French upgrade could open the door for a parallel program in the UAE, which also considers to but the VBCI with the CTA40 weapon system, which is also part of the French Scorpion program.[/ismember]