The French manufactured Main Battle Tank called the Leclerc entered service to the French Army in 1992 and improved mk2 version entered service/production in 1998 with better equipped engine control system and improved computer software located inside the tank; built by Giat Industries. (Who are now ‘Nexter’) The Main Battle Tank is also used by the United Arab Emirates to which end they have 388 of these tanks where compared to the French they have 406 Leclercs. These are the only two countries in the world which operate this tank however France is negotiating with Columbia who are offering 30-40 of these tanks.
The Leclerc features a CN120-26 120 mm smooth bore main gun, built by Giat, who are no Nexter. The tank can fire all (theoretically) German/NATO 120 mm ammunition rounds however as a good gesture to French ammunition makers, they only use French made ammunition. Up to 18 (French) different types of ammunition can be fired out of the main gun at the vehicle itself going over 50 km/h with a gun stabilization system. The gun also does not need a loader, as it features a custom auto-loader which is why only 3 crewman are needed. Auto-loader enables the tank to fire 12 rounds per minute and the loader itself holds 22 rounds of ammunition which it can readily load and fire to which end it can fire 5 different types of ammunition in the same batch of 22 rounds. The coaxial gun is also fitted with a heavy 12.7 mm machine gun, where most other tanks are fitted with the 7.62 mm machine gun. The turret like in the picture to the right hand side can be fitted with a remotely operated machine gun of 12.7mm; similar to that of the M1A2′s TUSK upgrade. However the Leclerc (MBT) is seen usually with 12.7 mm weapon without remote positioning. The vehicle is also armed with smoke grenades 4 x 4, anti-personnel grenades and infra-red screening rounds. (Powered by the Galix Combat vehicle protection system)