Scorpion Program: Go-Ahead for Leclerc Tank Modernization
(Source: French Defense Procurement Agency, DGA; issued Mar 12, 2015)
The French army’s Leclerc main battle tank is one of the most advanced in the world, but despite a previous upgrade now requires a more radical modernization to keep it operationally effective until 2040. (French MoD photo)
The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has awarded Nexter Systems the Leclerc tank modernization 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 front-line forces.

Valued at approximately €330 million, the contract provides for the delivery of 200 "Modernized Leclerc" main battle tanks and 18 "Modernized DCL" armored recovery vehicles from 2020.

The planned modernization work will enable the Leclerc to make the best use of its firepower 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 (SICS), it will be able to effectively network with all components of future "Scorpion" GTIAs.

Moreover, the upgrade of its passive protection through the development of specific armor 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 modernization launched today aims to maintain this capacity beyond 2040.


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