Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

France showed the Leclerc XLR main battle tank with upgraded protection

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun21,2024

France Showcased Leclerc XLR Main Battle Tank With Upgraded Protection

At Eurosatory 2024, KNDS showcased the Leclerc XLR, an upgraded version of the French Leclerc main battle tank. Major changes include improved: communications systems, protection and mobility features, crew safety measures, and upgraded surveillance and targeting systems.

In June 2023, the French Army received the first two Leclerc XLR main battle tanks, marking the beginning of the process of upgrading 200 of the 215 Leclerc tanks currently in service to the XLR standard by 2029. This modernization effort is aimed at supporting the operational effectiveness of the Leclerc tank, which has been deployed in regions such as the Balkans, Lebanon and Eastern Europe, in accordance with the NATO Response Force commitment.

With the XLR upgrade, communications systems have been upgraded with the integration of SCORPION vitronics, including the Thales Tactical Radio System and the SCORPION Information and Command System (SICS). This network architecture improves situational awareness and command/control capabilities. The tank's electronic systems are designed with future upgrades in mind, ensuring long-term communication with other SCORPION vehicles such as the Griffon, Jaguar and Serval, facilitating unified communications and management on the battlefield.

One of the significant changes to the Leclerc XLR is its increased protection. The tank now features modular armor on the turret and hull, providing improved protection against threats such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). Additional rear wire armor was added to protect the engine compartment. The tank is equipped with an anti-missile defense kit, a Galix close-in defense system, a mine and improvised explosive device protection kit, anti-improvised explosive obstacle (BARAGE) systems, as well as complex CBRN filtration and air systems.

Among the mobile features — off-road speed 72 km/h, power 24 hp/t, hydropneumatic suspension and power unit with a capacity of 1500 hp. The tank also has a built-in inertial navigation system and GPS integration.

For the safety of the crew, the driver's magazine, which previously held 18 cannon shells, was removed to reduce the risk of ammunition detonation near the fighting compartment. This modification reduces the tank's ammunition to 22 shells, which are stored in the magazine of the automatic loader, located in the aft niche of the turret. The Leclerc XLR also features an automatic built-in fire suppression or suppression system and a fully digital fire control system. Retaining its main 120mm smoothbore gun, the Leclerc XLR now includes a remote-controlled 7.62mm turret-mounted machine gun manufactured by Belgium's FN Herstal for improved close-in protection.

The Leclerc XLR's sighting and targeting systems have been upgraded . Now the tank is equipped with a PASEO panoramic sight of the latest generation for the commander, which provides the possibility of stabilized observation day and night. The gunner's sight has been improved with advanced optical sensors and new electronics that improve target detection, identification and engagement of targets at long ranges.

Since the modernization program began in 2015, the French Army has set a goal of upgrading 200 Leclerc tanks until 2029. This continuous process began with the delivery of the first batch of 18 operational tanks in 2023. The upgrade is intended to ensure that the Leclerc XLR remains effective in meeting current and future operational requirements until at least 2035.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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