Leclerc ARV with its dozer/stabiliser blade raised and crane partly elevated.
Nexter Systems is moving forward with the upgrade of the French Army Leclerc main battle tanks (MBT) and armoured recovery vehicles (ARV).
In March 2015, the French Procurement Agency, the DGA, awarded Nexter Systems a EUR300 million (USD339.5 million) contract covering 200 Renovated Leclerc MBTs and 18 Renovated Leclerc ARV.
The first two prototypes of the Renovated Leclerc will be completed at Nexter's Roanne facility in 2018, and following trials the remaining 198 will be upgraded from 2020 through to 2028. There is the possibility that additional vehicles could be upgraded, as a total of 406 Leclercs were delivered to the French Army up to 2007.
This upgrade will enable the MBT to make best use of its firepower and mobility within the future SCORPION joint tactical groups (GTIA). It includes the installation of an open electronic architecture, the new Contact tactical radio system, and the SCORPION Information and Command System (SICS) and associated displays, which will be installed in all of the French Army's existing and future armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs).
The survivability of Leclerc will be improved through the development of kits that can be installed prior to deployment. These include a package that provides an enhanced level of protection against mines and improvised explosive devices (IED) and another to provide a higher level of protection against rocket-propelled grenades. It will also be able to accommodate with the Barage IED (improvised explosive device) jammer.
The Leclerc's Nexter Systems 120 mm F1 smoothbore gun will be retained and in addition to firing the current range of ammunition, it will also fire a new Nexter Munitions high-explosive (HE) round that is under development.
This insensitive-compliant round is designated the 120 mm HE M3M and will feature a base fuze that can be set for impact, delay, and air burst modes and is intended to be effective during urban and counter-insurgency operations.