Main Armament: GIAT CN120-26/52 120mm smoothbore cannon
Capacity: 22 Rounds
Secondary Armament: 12.7 mm coaxial M2HB machine gun (1,100 rounds) 7.62 mm machine gun (3,000 rounds)
Armor: modular composite armor
SXXI version include titanium, tungsten and semi-reactive layers.
Weight: series 1: 54.5 tonnes/series 2: 56.3 tonnes/series XXI : 57.4 tonnes
Length: 9.87 m (6.88 without gun)
Width: 3.60 m
Height: 2.53 m
Engine: 8-cylinder diesel SACM (Wärtsilä)
1,100 kW (1,500 hp)
Operational Range: 550 km, 650 km (400 mi) with external fuel
Top Speed:72 km/h (45 mph)
Crew: 3 (commander, gunner, driver)
Designed between 1983 and 1989, produced since 1991 and entering service with the French Army in 1992, the Leclerc was named in honor of General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque who led French forces in their drive to retake Paris during the Second World War. Developed in response to the increasing inferiority of the AMX 30 class of tank in comparison to next generation Soviet weaponry, the Leclerc was the end result of the Char Futur project that initially saw cooperation with Germany in building a combined tank for both militaries. However due to disagreements in objectivity the program separated and France went ahead in favor a purely French tank.
Unlike other western tank programs at the time, the designers of the Leclerc gave priority to active protection and achieved this by focusing on limiting the overall mass of the vehicle. Mobility for evading enemy fire control systems was also given a particular emphasis. A goal of attaining at least double the protection against kinetic energy penetrators compared to the level attained in the current MBTs of the fifty ton weight class was reached, whilst simultaneously protecting against shaped charges.
So where does Leclerc reside on the 1/72 scale battlefield? Well it’s purpose as a main battle tank means it is effective at not only securing the battle space it resides in, but in the elimination of enemy heavy armor assets. Against most vehicles the Leclerc is unmatched, with the exception of other MBT’s. The presence of one ensures that French and other NATO Infantry can carry out their missions with overwhelming fire support. However Leclerc is not invincible and does have exploitable weaknesses. Attack air assets and anti tank infantry pose the most legitimate threats to Leclerc on the battlefield, however land mines are also a serious issue.
Ultimately the Leclerc is the spearhead of any armor or mechanized French fighting force. The ability to out maneuver and lay down continuous fire against enemy units is one of its greatest attributes. When engaging enemy forces, remember that Leclerc is best utilized in a combined arms role. This means it is strongest with the support of infantry and air assets whilst defended with anti-aircraft systems. Due to a cooled exhaust system the tank has a limited thermal signature which is especially effective during nighttime operations. Leclerc also gains a range and penetration advantage with a higher muzzle velocity value.
Strong vs: Light Tanks, Medium Tanks, Infantry Fighting Vehicles, Armored Personnel Carriers, Artillery (Line of Sight), Non-Anti Tank Equipped Infantry
Weak vs: Attack Helicopters, Attack Aircraft, Anti Tank Equipped Infantry, Landmines, Improvised Explosive Devices, Artillery (non-Line of Sight), Cruise Missiles
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