The Leclerc (AKA AMX-56) is in the same league as other NATO tanks and is certainly in the top three best modern MBT's. The French Leclerc is all about speed. Its the lightest modern NATO tank weighting 56tons (some 10+ tons lighter than the M1-A2), as it has a much smaller hull and turret, giving it an added bonus of excellent Strategic mobility. It carries a SACM V8X-1500 4-stroke liquid cooled V8 diesel engine, which generates 1500hp thanks to its Hyperbar process. By using exhaust flow from a gas turbine, it gives extra boost to the engines turbo charger. Added with its computerised EMS500 automatic gearbox and its lightweight, the Leclerc is able to do 0 to 30kph in less than 6 seconds. Its capable of carrying 1300 litres of diesel fuel giving it a 550km fighting range. The Leclerc MBT has a top road speed is 72 km/h and can go up 55 km/h off road thanks to its hydrogas suspension.
The Leclerc MBT is fitted with the FINDERS (fast information, navigation, decision and reporting system) battlefield management system, developed by Nexter Systems. FINDERS includes a colour map display which shows the positions of the host tank, allied and hostile forces and designated targets and can be used for route and mission planning.
The French Army has selected Nexter to equip its Leclerc main battle tanks with a terminal information system (TIS) called Icone (ergonomic communications and navigation interface). The initial phase of the contract covers the equipment of more than 100 Leclerc tanks. The Leclerc has an eight-cylinder, Wärtsilä (ex SACM) V8X-1500 1,500 hp Hyperbar diesel engine with five forward and two reverse gears. The official maximum speed by road is 72 km/h and 55 km/h cross country (speeds in excess of 80 km/h were reported on road). The maximum range is given as 550 km, and can be extended to 650 km with removable external tanks. The "hyperbar" system integrates a Turbomeca TM 307B gas turbine in the engine, acting both as a turbocharger and an APU giving auxiliary power to all systems when the main engine is shut down.
At a combat weight of just 56 tons, the Leclerc is one of the lightest main battle tanks in the world; this gives it one of the best power-to-weight ratios among the Western tanks (27 hp per tonne) and makes it one of the fastest MBTs of its generation (0 to 32 km/h in 5 seconds).
The engine exhaust, exiting at the rear left, is cooled to reduce the thermal signature of the tank. Transmission is a hydromechanical type with five forward and two reverse gears. Fuel tanks carry 1,300 litres and act as extra protection; two 200-litre external tanks can be fitted on the rear of the turret, but have to be jettisoned before entering combat since they limit turret rotation. The 120mm 52-calibre smoothbore gun is fitted with a thermal sleeve and muzzle reference system. Fumes are exhausted with a compressed air unit. The gun, which fires APFSD (armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot) and HEAT (high-explosive anti-tank) rounds, has a firing rate of 12 rounds a minute. The aiming system is entirely electrical for improved acceleration.
The tank has an automatic loading system, which allows cross-country fire-on-the-move against mobile targets. 22 rounds of ready-to-use ammunition are carried. The tank is also armed with a 12.7mm machine gun co-axial with the main gun and a roof-mounted 7.62mm anti-aircraft gun.
Lerlerc 2015 MBT French Military