The French government plans to upgrade a fleet of Leclerc main battle tanks (MBTs) within a context of increase of the country’s military budget.
According to Army Recognition citing the statement of the government, France will continue to modernize its armed forces with the purchase of new aircraft, upgrade Leclerc main battle tank and will acquire new combat armored vehicles.
The defense spending for 2019-2025 will increase to reach up to 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2025. The budget sets a target of €295 billion over seven years It would allow the acquisition of more than 1,700 armored vehicles for the Army.
The acquisition of new combat vehicles will include 100 modernized Leclerc main battle tanks, Griffon 6×6 multi-role armored vehicle and Jaguar 4×4 reconnaissance armored vehicles.
One of the most well-known defense newspaper, the Army Recognition also noted that the current Leclerc main battle tanks used by the French army will be upgraded to the XLR level according to the Scorpion Program. The Scorpion project aims to transform the equipment and networking of the key operating unit o the French Army to the level of groupement tactique inter-armes (GTIA), or combined arms tactical group.
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.
Destined to operate in a joint tactical “Scorpion” group, the Leclerc will get new open vetronics architecture, the CONTACT radio being developed by Thales and the future Scorpion information and communication system (SICS) provided by Atos.
In addition to new sensors and electronics, the XLR would have modular armor kits, including one kit protecting against IEDs by jamming cellular signals and another optimized for defeating rocket-propelled grenades.