Leclerc

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RANK 4 FRANCE
Somua SM PACK
fr_leclerc_s1.png
GarageImage Leclerc.jpg
Leclerc
AB RB SB
11.0 11.0 11.0
Class:
Research:390 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:1 020 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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Description

The Leclerc Serie 1 is a rank VII French medium tank with a battle rating of 11.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.89 "Imperial Navy".

Developed by GIAT in the late 1980s, this variant of the Leclerc (the Serie 1) was the first production model. Despite this, it sports numerous modern technologies, a powerful NATO-compliant 120mm cannon equipped with an autoloader (as with many French tanks) and a powerful, advanced diesel engine with a gas turbine 'charger'.

General info

Survivability and armour

ERA
Effective action against the cumulative ammunition
Composite armour
Balanced protection against all types of ammunition
Smoke grenades
Creation of a smoke screen in front of the vehicle
Armourfront / side / back
Hull80 / 35 / 20
Turret90 / 90 / 20
Crew3 people
Visibility90 %
Leclerc S1 Internal Layout

The Leclerc MBT is generally well protected with a well-designed layout resulting in good survivability. It does, however, have a number of prominent weak spots which are not easily hidden - most notable of which is the gun mantlet, which is mostly unprotected and can easily be penetrated to disable the cannon breech and often the tank commander, who sits on the exposed side of the mantlet (right side, looking from the front of the vehicle). The LFP (lower front plate) and UFP (upper front plate) are both weakly protected, with only the central front plate providing sufficient protection against incoming rounds. The Leclerc's turret cheeks are extremely well protected by modular composite armour, combining hard metals, semi-reactive and ceramic layers, protecting against even the most powerful kinetic rounds and most chemical rounds.

Despite only seating three crew members, the Leclerc's survivability proves to be reasonable, with spaced out crew members, a blow-out compartment for the primary ammunition storage and the turret crew placed as low as feasible. As such, even successful penetration of the Leclerc is unlikely to disable the vehicle immediately - and even a vehicle fire or crew knockout will not stop the vehicle from reloading, ready to fire back. It is possible to destroy the Leclerc with one round by hitting the two crew on the right (viewed from the front).

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB79 / 43 km/h
RB and SB71 / 39 km/h
Number of gears8 forward
4 back
Weight54.6 t
Engine power
AB2 812 hp
RB and SB1 474 hp
Power-to-weight ratio
AB51.5 hp/t
RB and SB27.0 hp/t
Game Mode Max Speed (km/h) Weight (tons) Engine power (horsepower) Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)
Forward Reverse Stock Upgraded Stock Upgraded
Arcade 79 43 54.6 2,285 2812 41.85 51.5
Realistic 71 39 1,304 1474 23.88 27

The Leclerc is powered by an excellent V8 diesel engine with a gas turbine auxiliary charger, producing a peak of 1474.5 horsepower at 2500 RPM, transferred to the drive sprockets via a transmission with 8 forward and 4 backward gears. With a maximum power-to-weight ratio of 27.01, the Leclerc is more than capable of reaching these speeds, with excellent acceleration and manoeuvrability characteristics to boot. The Leclerc will easily keep up with most of its counterparts such as the M1A2 Abrams or the Leopard 2A5, and as such can comfortably reach strategic positions quickly or make its way into cap points with haste. It can also quickly escape sub-optimal situations, with a perfectly reasonable -38 km/h reverse speed.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB10 680 → 15 891 Sl icon.png
RB6 720 → 9 999 Sl icon.png
SB3 690 → 5 490 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications275 600 Rp icon.png
438 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 800 Ge icon.png
Crew training290 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 020 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 100 Ge icon.png
Research Aces1 080 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
120 / 100 / 110 % Sl icon.png
232 / 232 / 232 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Mobility Protection Firepower
Mods new tank traks.png
Tracks
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank suspension.png
Suspension
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank break.png
Brake System
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank filter.png
Filters
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank transmission.png
Transmission
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
28 000 Sl icon.png
430 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank engine.png
Engine
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
28 000 Sl icon.png
430 Ge icon.png
Mods tank tool kit.png
Parts
Research:
4 500 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods extinguisher.png
FPE
Research:
5 100 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods tank reinforcement fr.png
Crew Replenishment
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank horizontal aiming.png
Horizontal Drive
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
120mm_DM_APDS_FS_ammo_pack
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods tank cannon.png
Adjustment of Fire
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
380 Ge icon.png
Mods new tank vertical aiming.png
Elevation Mechanism
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods tank laser rangefinder.png
Laser rangefinder
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods smoke screen.png
Smoke grenade
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
340 Ge icon.png
Mods art support.png
Artillery Support
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
28 000 Sl icon.png
430 Ge icon.png
Mods tank ammo.png
120mm_NATO_APDS_FS_ammo_pack
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
28 000 Sl icon.png
430 Ge icon.png
Mods thermal sight.png
NVD
Research:
19 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
28 000 Sl icon.png
430 Ge icon.png

The OFL 120 F1 round is the most important module to research for the Leclerc, followed closely by NVD (thermals help maintain a comfortable advantage over opponents).

Parts and FPE should be the first modules researched, followed by Adjustment of Fire, Crew Replenishment, your choice of Laser Rangefinder or Smoke Grenades, then OFL 120 F1, NVD, and ideally mobility upgrades afterwards.

Armaments

Laser rangefinder
Reduces the error and increases the maximum measurable distance of the rangefinder
Night vision device
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.
Thermal imager
Allows to see thermal radiation in the infrared range day and night

Main armament

Two-plane stabilizer
Reduces the swing of the gun in two planes while moving
Autoloader
Automatically feeds projectiles into the breech. The speed does not depend on the skills of the loader
Ammunition40 rounds
First-order22 rounds
Reload6.0 s
Vertical guidance-8° / 20°

The Leclerc Serie 1 mounts a 120 mm GIAT CN120-26/52 smoothbore cannon, fitted with a two-plane stabiliser and an autoloading system. The CN120 is a competitive cannon, displaying excellent performance with the OFL 120 F1 APFSDS round, up to a maximum of 575 mm of penetration at 0°. Combined with the consistent 6 second reload (independent of crew), this 120 mm cannon is more than competitive when compared to the offerings on its contemporaries. However, it's important to note that the OFL 120 F1 round is a tier 4 modification, and as such a stock Leclerc will be required to use the OCC 120 G1 HEAT-FS round - which, while capable, can prove somewhat unreliable when used against late vehicles with ERA and composite armour.

120 mm GIAT CN120-26 F1 Turret rotation speed (°/s) Reloading rate (seconds)
Mode Capacity Vertical Horizontal Stabilizer Stock Upgraded Full Expert Aced Stock Full Expert Aced
Arcade 40 -8°/+20° ±180° Two-plane 28.6 39.5 48.0 53.1 56.5 6.00 6.00 6.00 6.00
Realistic 17.9 21.0 25.5 28.2 30.0

Ammunition

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
10 m 100 m 500 m 1,000 m 1,500 m 2,000 m
OCC 120 G1 HEATFS 480 480 480 480 480 480
OFL 120 G1 APFSDS 425 423 417 410 404 396
OFL 120 F1 APFSDS 575 573 565 557 547 537
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
Mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive Mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
OCC 120 G1 HEATFS 1,100 14.4 0.05 0.1 2,150 65° 72° 77°
OFL 120 G1 APFSDS 1,780 3.8 N/A N/A N/A 78° 80° 81°
OFL 120 F1 APFSDS 1,790 3.8 N/A N/A N/A 78° 80° 81°

Ammo racks

Ammo racks of the Leclerc. Bustle ammo rack is behind blast doors. Hull ammo rack is inside fuel tank.
Full
ammo
1st
rack empty
2nd
rack empty
Visual
discrepancy
40 23 (+17) (+39) No

Optics and night vision

The Leclerc receives night vision imagers once the tier 4 modification 'NVD' is researched. This unlocks 800 x 600 resolution thermal sights for the gunner, as well as standard image intensifiers for all crew (available in third person view in AB/RB additionally)

Leclerc Optics
Type of optic Magnification Night Vision Devices
Image Intensifier Thermal Imager
Resolution
Notes
Resolution Light Mult Noise Level
Gunner's Sight 4.0x - 12.0x -- -- -- 800 x 600 Intensifier & thermal sights unlocked by 'NVD' modification (tier 4)
Commander's View 6.0x N/A Intensifier unlocked by 'NVD' modification (tier 4)
Driver's View 1.0x 1200 x 800 7.0 High N/A Intensifier unlocked by 'NVD' modification (tier 4)

Machine guns

Ammunition800 rounds
Belt capacity200 rounds
Reload8.0 s
Fire rate577 shots/min

The Leclerc mounts a single coaxial 12.7 mm machine gun. While this coaxial mount limits it to +20° of elevation, if it can be placed on target it can prove effective against low-flying aircraft. Besides this, it can be useful for clearing out light obstacles, knocking out crew on open-top vehicles, and marking targets.

12.7 mm M2HB
Mount Capacity (Belt) Fire rate Vertical Horizontal
Coaxial 800 (200) 577 N/A N/A

Usage in battles

The Leclerc is an extremely capable MBT, and can be deadly in the right hands. It can prove somewhat vulnerable in close-range engagements, where its numerous weak points are easily targeted, and as such it's preferable to make use of its high round velocity to snipe, or its excellent mobility to flank enemies.

Rural Combat

The Leclerc's OFL 120 F1 round, with its 1,790 m/s muzzle velocity and high penetration values is a potent sniping round. As such, on open maps (such as Kursk or Maginot Line), it's recommended to operate the Leclerc as a sniper - this allows it to both employ these round characteristics optimally and avoid the Leclerc's large weak spots being easy targets. On maps where flanking is viable (for example, the eastern hill on Maginot Line), the Leclerc's excellent power to weight ratio can be used to access and push through these routes.

Urban Combat

The Leclerc is less comfortable in urban combat situations, although still more than capable. On maps such as Alaska, it's preferable to take flanking routes around the edges of urban regions where possible or cap points on the outskirts of the map (such as the A point in Alaska Domination), avoiding close quarters. In situations where avoiding close quarters is mostly impossible, it's best to play conservatively and maintain full awareness of enemy presence (audio is extremely important information in War Thunder - you can hear most vehicles coming!). Fortunately the Leclerc has a respectable reverse speed of 38 km/h and providing your engine, transmission and driver remain intact after a penetration it's more than capable of reversing out of trouble.

Notable Targets

  • Challenger 2: The CR2's turret cheeks are essentially immune to even OFL 120 F1 - and the Challenger is deadly accurate at long range. As such, sniping matches with the Challenger 2 should be avoided at all costs, instead attempt to flank it where possible. If there is no opportunity to get closer, move around between shots and try to land a shot on the gun mantlet or the UFP/LFP.
  • M1A1/M1A2 Abrams: The Abrams is a deadly opponent, and thanks to the crew and module spacing will often survive multiple shots. In any engagement, first try to disable the cannon breech - this avoids the Abrams firing back and with your quick reload you'll often have time to disable its mobility entirely.
  • Leopard 2A5: The Leopard 2A5 is a dangerous opponent, with a small gun mantlet weak spot and impenetrable turret cheeks. Fortunately, the OFL 120 F1 round can punch straight through the hull. If the opportunity for a hull shot does not arise, try to shoot through the gun mantlet or turret ring where possible.
  • Ariete: although its armour protection won't stop your APFSDS, almost all the tank is vulnerable to Ariete's firepower, in fact its rounds can easily penetrate most of the frontal section of the Leclerc even at 2000 m. It is better to disable its gun before trying to destroy the tank, or just shooting at the left turret cheek, killing the gunner and the commander leaving the target harmless

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Six second autoloader is very competitive
  • Extremely good composite protection on turret cheeks and centre frontal plate
  • Well-spaced crew and modules
  • Blow-out contained primary ammunition storage
  • Extremely mobile, with excellent acceleration and manoeuvrability characteristics
  • Very effective kinetic round

Cons:

  • Only three crew members
  • Numerous large vulnerabilities
  • Only HEAT-FS available stock, can reasearch a very weak APFSDS shell as a tier I modification and the OFL 120 F1 as a tier IV modification

History

Development of the Leclerc main battle tank dates back to 1964, when the French military initiated a study on possible replacements for the AMX-30 tank, about to be introduced into service at the time. By the early '70s, the inferiority of the AMX-30 compared to more modern Soviet T-series MBTs had become obvious. As a result, work on developing a replacement officially began, with first specifications being drawn up by 1977.

In 1980, France and Germany began joint development of a new main battle tank. However, similarly to the previous Europanzer development decades ago, the joint effort quickly came to an end shortly afterwards due to various disagreements, with France continuing work on its own.

The new main battle tank was intended to offer cutting-edge performance by making use of the latest equipment available. However, as the per unit price was projected to be substantial, France sought partnership with another state to reduce these costs. Eventually, a partnership was established with the UAE, who would be the second and only other primary operator of the new tank, other than France itself.

Thus, in 1986 the tank received its name "Leclerc", with six initial prototypes being produced. Mass production subsequently started in 1990 and went on until 2007. During production, the Leclerc was built in various batches and series, each introducing various tweaks and changes to the design, while some also incorporated major upgrades.

The Leclerc saw service as part of a number of UN peacekeeping missions, primarily in Kosovo and Lebanon, with reported favourable performance. Most recently, the UAE deployed a number of its Leclercs to Yemen, with some vehicles getting damaged. As of the end of production in 2007, a total of around 860 Leclercs were built for both French and UAE forces combined.

- From Devblog

Media

Skins
Images
Leclerc tank in Saumur museum tank
Videos

See also

  • Leclerc S2 - Succeeding variant in the French tech tree

External links

France medium tanks
  D2 · S.35 · Lorraine 40t
AMX  AMX M4 · AMX-32 · AMX-40 · AMX-50
AMX-30  AMX-30 · AMX-30 (1972) · AMX-30B2 · AMX-30B2 BRENUS · AMX-30 ACRA · AMX-30 Super
Leclerc  Leclerc · Leclerc S2
Based on M4  ▄M4A1 · M4A1 (FL10) · ▄M4A3 (105) · ▄M4A4 · M4A4 (SA50)
Foreign  Panther "Dauphiné" (Germany)