French Army to Upgrade Leclerc Main Battle Tanks to Leclerc Scorpion or XLR Configuration
French Army to Upgrade Leclerc Main Battle Tanks to Leclerc Scorpion or XLR Configuration

French Army to Upgrade Leclerc Main Battle Tanks to Leclerc Scorpion or XLR Configuration


The French Army (Armée de Terre) has a total of 222 Leclerc MBT main battle tank and for 2025 122 Leclerc tanks will be upgraded to the standard Leclerc Scorpion or XLR Configuration. The newest upgrade package part of the SCORPION (Synergie du COntact Renforcé par la Polyvalence et l’info valorisatION) program. The program goes well beyond the development and delivery of the GRIFFON, JAGUAR and SERVAL vehicles, along with the renovation of the LECLERC main battle tank. Better protected and more mobile, all the systems developed within the framework of the Programme and equipping France’s joint battle groups are also fully connected and share combat information instantaneously. Inclusion of new tactical interfaces, new armor packages, RWS turret, as well as several additional sensors and grenade launchers.
French Army Leclerc Main Battle Tank
French Army Leclerc Main Battle Tank

The Leclerc Scorpion or XLR is a modernized version of the French-made Leclerc Main Battle Tank (MBT) designed and manufactured by the French Company Nexter Systems. The renovated Leclerc Scorpion / XLR main battle tank will keep the same armament as the standard Leclerc tank which consists of a Giat 120 mm 52 caliber smoothbore gun designated the CN 120-26. The turret is equipped with an automatic loading system that contains 22 rounds of ready-use ammunition normally loaded from outside through a small hatch in the back of the turret bustle. The gun is fitted with a thermal sleeve and a compressed air system for blowing out propellant fumes. The Leclerc Scorpion is fitted with a remotely operated weapon station mounted on the top of the turret which is armed with a 7.62mm machine gun. A 12.7 mm machine gun is also mounted coaxially with the main armament.

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French Army Leclerc Main Battle Tank
French Army Leclerc Main Battle Tank

The Leclerc MBT Scorpion / XLR will use the same powerpack as the standard Leclerc tank which consists of a eight-cylinder SACM (now Wärtsilä) V8X-1500 1,500 hp Hyperbar diesel engine coupled to a SESM ESM 500 fully automatic transmission with five forward and two reverse gears and hydrostatic transmission. The Hyperbar name comes from the unusually high boost pressure of 7.5 bar and the resulting mean effective pressure of 32.1 bar. With a combat weight of 56 tons, the Leclerc is one of the lighter main battle tanks in the world, though still considerably heavier than Soviet and later Russian designs; this gives it one of the best power-to-weight ratios among Western tanks (27 hp per ton) and makes it one of the fastest MBTs of its generation (0 to 32 km/h in 5 seconds).

French Army Leclerc Main Battle Tank
French Army Leclerc Main Battle Tank

The Leclerc Scorpion is upgraded with a new armor package that includes additional modular armor on the hull and the turret. The turret and the hull are made of welded steel plates with a thickness ranging from 30 mm to 50 mm on which removable composite armor modules are mounted. The front part of the hull side is protected by thick passive armor, while the rear part is fitted with wire cage armor to protect the engine compartment against attacks of RPGs (Rocket-Propelled Grenade). The rear part of the hull is also fitted with wire cage armor. Fourteen 80 mm dispensers of the Lacroix GALIX self-defence system are mounted onto the rear part of the turret. A feature of the Hyperbar system used by the V8X1500 engine is that it does not emit visible smoke during acceleration, allowing to reduce the infrared signature of the tank.

1 comment

  1. Sure hope they give this tank an APS system. I’m sure Russia and the Chicoms are already taking apart the captured Javelins and NLOS and will have their own copies within 5 years or sooner. Without an APS these won’t last long on the battlefield.

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