French Leclerc MBTs receive EUR330 million upgrade

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Victor Barreira - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
12 March 2015


Nexter will upgrade the French Army's 200 Leclerc MBTS under a EUR330 million contract. Source: IHS/Patrick Allen

France has awarded a contract to upgrade its 200 Leclerc main battle tanks (MBTs) to Nexter Systems, the French defence procurement agency (DGA) announced on 12 March.

Worth EUR330 million (USD350 million), the contract also includes the modernisation of 18 Leclerc chassis-based DCL (Dépanneur de Char Leclerc) heavy recovery vehicles. The modernised fleet will be re-delivered from 2020.

The modernisation project is intended to extend the vehicle's service life beyond 2040, and improve the tank's ability to meet current operational scenarios, including asymmetric warfare environments.

Speaking to IHS Jane's , the DGA stated that the contract was signed on 5 March and was in line with the French Military Programming Law (LPM) 2014-2019.

Nexter Systems originally built 254 Leclerc MBTs for the French Army. The modernisation of the Leclerc MBTs forms part of the army's Synergie du COntact Renforcé par la Polyvalence et l'InfovalorisatiON (SCORPION) programme, with the vehicles to be designated Leclerc R (Rénové) and DCL R.

The DGA told IHS Jane's that the main parts of the upgrade include: the development and installation of new armour kits to improve the MBTs protection from new threats, such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs); the integration of the vehicles into the SICS (Système d'Information et de Commandement SCORPION) digitised information system being developed by Bull and Thales; and the installation of a new tactical digital radio system being developed by Thales as part of CONTACT (COmmunications Numériques TACtiques et de ThéâtrE) programme, awarded by the DGA in 2012.
French Leclerc MBTs receive EUR330 million upgrade - IHS Jane's 360
 
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