KNDS Nexter inaugurates new production line for French Leclerc tank tracks


Commenting on a tweet posted by KNDS/Nexter on October 12th, Laurent Lagneau writes in Opex360 that, given that the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) is not expected to be operational until 2040 or even 2045, the question of the future of Leclerc tanks remaining in the inventory of the French Army arises now.
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Given that the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) is not expected to be operational until 2040 or even 2045, the question of the future of Leclerc tanks remaining in the inventory of the French Army arises now (Picture source: Army Recognition)


A solution would be to continue the modernization of the Leclerc tanks to keep them in service until the arrival of the MGCS. A solution recently recommended by the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) would involve the purchase of a few E-MBT (Enhanced Main Battle Tanks) proposed by KNDS, which is the alliance formed by the French company Nexter and the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. "Without considering a massive order, a transition fleet of E-MBTs would lighten the load on the remaining Leclerc tanks, allowing them to reach 2040 and the transition to the MGCS, a perspective that is difficult to envisage in the current state," suggests IFRI, noting that such a solution would allow Nexter to "maintain an underutilized industrial capability since the end of Leclerc tank production."

General Pierre Schill, Chief of Staff of the French Army (CEMAT), stated during a hearing at the National Assembly: "While waiting for the MGCS schedule and its developments, I must sustain my 'heavy armored' capability to have a deployable armored brigade." Hence the decision to sustain the Leclerc tank.

It is probably for this purpose that on October 12th, in Tulle, KNDS/Nexter inaugurated a new production line for tracks intended for the Leclerc tanks. "The development of this new line is part of an overall plan to sustain the Maintenance in Operational Condition (MCO) of the heavy tank," the company stated on Twitter.


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On October 12th, in Tulle, KNDS/Nexter inaugurated a new production line for tracks intended for the Leclerc tanks (Picture source: Twitter/X account of KNDS/Nexter)


Defense News October 2023