Land Platforms

IDEX 2017: Nexter proposes UAE Leclerc upgrades

24 February 2017

Nexter Systems has proposed a number of potential upgrades to enhance the capability of the United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) Leclerc main battle tanks (MBTs).

The Leclerc MBT fitted with the PASEO panoramic sighting system. (IHS Markit/Patrick Allen)The Leclerc MBT fitted with the PASEO panoramic sighting system. (IHS Markit/Patrick Allen)

The UAE has taken delivery of a total of 388 Leclerc MBTs, 2 training tanks, and 46 armoured recovery vehicles (ARVs).

These are similar to the 400 Leclerc MBTs delivered to the French Army, but have a number of modifications including an MTU 1,500 hp EuroPowerPack, additional passive armour, and a different commander's panoramic sighting system.

They also feature an auxiliary power unit (APU) mounted on the rear of the hull on the right side, which enables the subsystems to run with the main engine switched off.

So far the only significant modification is the supply of 15 AZUR kits to provide a higher level of protection against weapons fitted with a single high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead, and a new Thales SOTAS vehicle intercom system.

The proposed modification to the UAE Leclerc includes replacing the current commander's panoramic system with a new Safran PASEO Modular Advanced Stabilised Sighting System.

This has the latest high-definition day camera, thermal imager, and an eye-safe laser rangefinder and is the same unit as that being installed on the French Army's Jaguar 6x6 reconnaissance vehicle.

At present, the platform's roof-mounted remote weapon station is armed with a 7.62 mm machine gun (MG). This is currently only operated by the commander, but will be modified to enable it to be used by the gunner as well and up-gunned with a 12.7 mm MG.

The upgrade proposal includes cameras to provide enhanced situational awareness through 360°, with the images being displayed on new flat panel displays at the commander's, gunner's, and driver's positions.

Other potential improvements include enhanced mine protection and an electrically operated track tensioner.

The 120 mm/52-calibre F1 smoothbore gun is retained and this can fire the complete family of 120 mm ammunition, including a new high-explosive (HE) round.

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options:

(341 of 514 words)