AMX Leclerc Tank
The AMX Leclerc is a main battle tank (MBT) built by GIAT, now Nexter of France. It was named in honour of General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque who led the French element of the drive towards Paris while in command of the Free French 2nd Armoured Division in World War II.
The Leclerc is in service with the French Army and the army of the United Arab Emirates. In production since 1991, the Leclerc entered French service in 1992, replacing the AMX 30 as the country's main armoured platform. With production now complete, the French Army has a total of 406 Leclerc and the United Arab Emirates Army has 388. The price in 2011 was €9.3 million, which made it the most expensive tank in history at the time. Following the devaluation of the Euro its price fell dramatically, and in 2014 the K2 Black Panther surpassed the Leclerc's price record.
Since 1992 (after the Persian Gulf War), the Leclerc has mostly seen deployment on low-intensity conflicts, including 15 Leclerc stationed in Kosovo (KFOR) and others in Lebanon (UNIFIL) within UN peace-keeping operations, where their performance was judged satisfactory by French officials. Until 2010, 13 Leclerc were deployed in the south Lebanon for a peacekeeping mission with UNIFIL.
As of August 2015, Leclerc tanks of the United Arab Emirates were deployed in combat operations in Yemen (near Aden) as part of the Saudi-led coalition. It is estimated 70 Leclerc MBTs were deployed by the UAE in Yemen, 15 of them equipped with the AZUR package. 3 tanks were damaged, 2 by antitank mines and 1 by a RPG which damaged the grid without piercing the hull. In a single incident; one Leclerc tank was hit and penetrated in the front hull by an ATGM, possibly of Konkurs or Konkurs-M type, resulting in the death of the driver and injuries to the legs of the commander. None of these tanks were lost. More details