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29 Apr 16. French Army Leclerc upgrade gets under way. Nexter Systems is moving forward with the upgrade of the French Army Leclerc main battle tanks (MBT) and armoured recovery vehicles (ARV). In March 2015, the French Procurement Agency, the DGA, awarded Nexter Systems a EUR300m (USD339.5m) contract covering 200 Renovated Leclerc MBTs and 18 Renovated Leclerc ARV.
The first two prototypes of the Renovated Leclerc will be completed at Nexter’s Roanne facility in 2018, and following trials the remaining 198 will be upgraded from 2020 through to 2028. There is the possibility that additional vehicles could be upgraded, as a total of 406 Leclercs were delivered to the French Army up to 2007. This upgrade will enable the MBT to make best use of its firepower and mobility within the future SCORPION joint tactical groups (GTIA). It includes the installation of an open electronic architecture, the new Contact tactical radio system, and the SCORPION Information and Command System (SICS) and associated displays, which will be installed in all of the French Army’s existing and future armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs). The survivability of Leclerc will be improved through the development of kits that can be installed prior to deployment. These include a package that provides an enhanced level of protection against mines and improvised explosive devices (IED) and another to provide a higher level of protection against rocket-propelled grenades. It will also be able to accommodate with the Barage IED (improvised explosive device) jammer.
The Leclerc’s Nexter Systems 120 mm F1 smoothbore gun will be retained and in addition to firing the current range of ammunition, it will also fire a new Nexter Munitions high-explosive (HE) round that is under development. This insensitive-compliant round is designated the 120 mm HE M3M and will feature a base fuze that can be set for impact, delay, and air burst modes and is intended to be effective during urban and counter-insurgency operations. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
28 Apr 16. UAE Donates Armored Personnel Carriers, Trucks to Libya. The Libyan National Army (LNA) has taken delivery of several Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) and military pick-up trucks that were donated to the Tobruk-based government by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to the Libyan Herald, the military vehicle consignment was delivered to the LNA headquarters in Tobrul on April 23. Although there was no official comment from army commander-inchief and defense minister Gen. Khalifa Haftar, the LNA posted a single image of dozens of what appears to be new Panthera T-6 light APCs and Toyota Landcruiser pick-up trucks.
The caption did not state the number of APCs donated by the UAE. The Libya Herald quoted an army spokesman saying some of the new APCs will be deployed in support of an ongoing army and militia offensive to flush the Islamic State (ISIS) fighters out of its de-facto regional capital of Sirte. Together with Egypt and Jordan, the UAE has allegedly defied the UN arms embargo on Libya to become one of the most consistent supporters of the LNA since Haftar took charge in 2012. The LNA on May 17, 2015, published a brief report and accompanying images of several Typhoon 4×4 APCs which it said were donated by the UAE to support the fight against terrorism. The Typhoon is a product of Canadian armored vehicle manufacturer Streit Group, which operates a production and service plant for clients in the Middle East and Africa regions from a base in the Ras al-Khaimah industrial region of Dubai. The APC was reported two months after Haftar’s tri-nation tour to Egypt, the UAE and Jordan where he drummed up military support to fight ISIS and local militias opposed to the Tobruk government. The Typhoon delivery was followed weeks later by a brief report and