LAST Tank builders from different countries have sought to create a new machine jointly. In the summer of 1963, the Ministers of defense of the United States and Germany signed an agreement on joint development of main battle tank for the armies of both States on the program of the MBT (Main Battle Tank). In 1969 tests were presented prototypes of tanks, MBT-70, developed in Detroit, and in Augsburg. Although the sample was designed according to General technical requirements, they differed significantly from each other with weapons, engines, chassis. As a result, in the same year, the Alliance broke up, dispersed and tank builders, who then went their separate ways. In the US there was a tank “Abrams” in Germany – “the Leopard”: similar in their main characteristics, but at the same time.

In 1978, the now France and Germany decided to jointly create a new single main battle tank. In the framework of “Napoleon 1” and “Kpz” (Kamfpanzer – battle tank) was composed of common tactical requirements, approved by the basic sketch of the tank. In addition, assign responsibilities for the development of a joint project by organizing two groups of designers in Germany and France, and planned major funding issues.
Difficulties in the collaborative work started when it came to technical solutions. For example, the German experts had insisted on installing on the machine a new flat of the tower to create and where required a long time French did not agree with the inflated weight of more than 50 tons were the result of differences in production planning basic components and subassemblies. Did not agree even “in the right to use export orders”.
French military leadership was hoping to get a new car already by 1991, the Germans – only to 1996, he planned to perform his part of the components. As a result, the opinions of both military and designers were separated. The French branch of the disagreements ended with the creation of its main battle tank AMX-56 “Lekpark”, adopted in 1992, although the first series cars produced a year earlier.
Main battle tank AMX-56
Main battle tank AMX-56
Main battle tank AMX-56
Turret combined with the sights of the commander and gunner HL70, HL60 (photo - left of the gun). Above the cannon is visible on the laser sensor of curvature of the barrel; 7.62-mm machine gun is located at the bottom of the tower (pictured to the right of the cannon)
The turret combined with the sights of the commander and gunner HL70, HL60 (photo – left of the gun). Above the cannon is visible on the laser sensor of curvature of the barrel; 7.62-mm machine gun is located at the bottom of the tower (pictured to the right of the gun)
Up to this time in the country by the army tanks were AMX-30, belonging to the second postwar generation. And before him in the French army dominated the lightweight 15-ton tank AMX-13, which were produced from 1952 to 1985 – for over thirty years, so this machine was, without exaggeration, is popular all over the world. Suffice it to say that the most important part of 7700 units produced in that period, was exported to thirty countries; France was then considered sufficient to keep in service only 1500 of these machines.
The development of the tank AMX-30 began in 1957; his years of production: 1966 – 1986. This 30-ton machine had an impressive defense – frontal part of the hull and turret was 80mm thick. Power 12-cylinder multi-fuel engine – 720 HP allowed to reach speeds up to 65 km/h. Armament consisted of large-caliber 105 mm auxiliary guns and 20-mm automatic.
The tank was delivered very advanced for that time, the scopes working in conjunction with an electronic computer and a laser rangefinder, a combined day-night, night with lights. The camera sent images to the screens of the commander and gunner.
From a technological point of view, the car was also at the forefront. So, the whole of her body was not only welded, but also had cast nose, was completely cast, and the tower.
The AMX-30 was constantly improving and being upgraded. So, it is in a different time is set improved fire control system, new hydro-mechanical transmission, more powerful engine, dynamic protection.
It was released more than 2,800 units of various modifications.
The AMX-30 was able to successfully compete with the main tanks of the NATO countries, produced in the 1960-1980s cars of the last modification to 1988, with the index “a” was in service with the land forces of Spain in the amount of nearly 300 units, Saudi Arabia – 290 units, in Cyprus and in Greece for 102 units, Venezuela units -82, UAE – 64 units, Chile – 60 tanks, and also armies of other countries.
Thus, the French tank builders during the creation of a new sample of the AMX-56 already had considerable experience in the design, development, release and exploitation of their tanks AMX-13, AMX-30 and AMX-32, AMX-63 and the AMX-40, which could be considered intermediate models. Therefore, the AMX-56 and became a machine rich advanced electronics with high tech protection combined with the firepower of weapons, mobility and maneuverability.
The first six prototypes of the new machines were collected at the end of 1986, In January of the following year, one of these as-yet-functional sample with many experimental units and equipment were presented to the senior administration, who approved the project.
As had been previously planned, in 1990 with the manufacture of four units began mass production of the AMX-56 “Leclerc”. Since then tanks were produced in small batches with the same upgrade in one way or another
As had been previously planned, in 1990 with the manufacture of four units began mass production of the AMX-56 “Leclerc”. Since then tanks were produced in small batches with the same upgrade in one way or another
degree. Basically it has concerned the use of electronics in management information systems, improving armor protection, improved suspension. In 1992, “Leclerc” was adopted by the French army. As of 2012, its tank units were 406 units.
It should be noted that a large part in the project were the United Arab Emirates, directly concerned in its implementation, and invested in the development of a lot of money. As a result, for the same 2012, they had 388 machines.
1 – 120-mm gun; 2 – the laser sensor curvature of the trunk; 3 – 7.62 mm machine gun; 4 – gunner; 5 – gunner display; 6 – the commander’s panoramic sight HL70; 7 – turret 12.7-mm machine gun; 8 – shell in the autoloader; 9 – grenade launcher; 10 – louvers of the engine compartment; 11 – driving wheel; 12 – motor; 13 – support roller; 14 – the workplace of the commander; 15 – surveillance device commander; 16 – TV screen commander; 17 – anti shaped-charge screen; 18 – the place of the FCS and frame; 19 – the workplace of the driver; 20-viewing device; 21 – front stowage drum; 22 – the element of control and coordination of line of sight with the barrel axis
Workplace of the tank commander. The whole situation is reflected on the display screen; right - a sight HL70
The workplace of the tank commander. The whole situation is reflected on the display screen; right – a sight HL70
Turret 12.7-mm machine gun М2НВ
Turret 12.7-mm machine gun М2НВ
Feed tank with additional external fuel tanks with a volume of 225 l
Feed tank with additional external fuel tanks with a volume of 225 l
AMX-56 in the classroom. The tank can overcome ditches in width to 3 m
AMX-56 in the classroom. The tank can overcome ditches in width to 3 m
In weaponry, modern tanks are used vysokomolochnye medium gun 120-mm and 125-mm caliber. For example, our T-80 and T-90 installed 125-mm gun 2A46M, American Abrams, German Leopard, the British Challenger are the 120 mm M256, ^44, 1_30Е4 respectively. All these guns smoothbore other than English, which is rifled.
In smoothbore guns creates a higher pressure causing the projectile to accelerate faster, increasing the kinetic energy of the projectile. They have a slightly larger outer diameter that allows a greater Flexural rigidity, reduce the error dispersion due to barrel vibration when firing on the move or when its warming up after repeated shots. The vitality of their trunk resource of the shots above, they are more resistant to gases. In addition, the production of such guns is much cheaper. But still one of the main reasons for their use – the possibility of using rockets (missiles). In this case, smooth trunks are used as launchers.
And the “Leclerc” is a smoothbore 120mm CN-120-26. This is one of the most powerful guns with a barrel length of 6200 mm (52 klb), exceeding the German Rh44 (44 klb) or the American M256 (44 klb) almost 1 meter. This allowed to increase the initial speed, e.g. sabots to 1750 m/s.
Unlike the other tank guns with ejectors, CN-120-26 has a vent venting the bore to remove powder gases and the cooled compressed air from the additional compressor.
Full replacement of the barrel is made after 400 shots, and within one hour and without removing the tower. Gun is considered the easiest of all installed on the Western main tank. Her weight 2740 kg, when M256 – 3065 kg, Rh44 – 3130 kg. Note, the Russian 2A46M on T-80U is even easier – 2450 kg barrel length 6000 mm (48 klb).
To improve the accuracy of shooting with a cannon equipped plane stabilizer.
On the AMX-56 installed automatic loader guns, with a rate of fire of up to 15 RDS./min, and providing an effective sighting rate of fire 10-12 RDS./min., which was a novelty for all Western tanks. The mechanism is placed in a niche of the turret in an isolated compartment and is a belt conveyor. His cell charged 22 separate shots.
The ammunition consists of a unitary 40 shots, 18 of them are placed in a rotating drum laying to the right of the driver, separated by fences. Download of the ammunition is performed through a hatch in the aft wall of the tower.
In ammunition includes shots with shaped-charge fragmentation shells and armor-piercing core of tungsten alloy armor-piercing up to 220 mm thick. Recently developed a new one – with a core of depleted uranium armor 320 -350 mm. There is information about the developed cumulative-shrapnel projectile with a tandem warhead capable of penetrating the armor with dynamic protection, the creation of the guided missile with infrared and radar homing heads. Not so long ago in the ammunition of the AMX-56 introduced the shots from the shrapnel projectile, creating a zone of defeat of manpower on the area of 50×500 m in front and depth.
Tank “Leclerc AZUR” armed with a 7.62 mm remotely controlled machine gun mounted on the turret roof
Tank “Leclerc AZUR” with the new bulwarks of composite armor, anti shaped-charge lattices, to cover the stern of the hull and the rear of the tower. On the aft brackets are mounted lightly armored cargo boxes
AMX-56 on maneuvers
AMX-56 on maneuvers
Tank AMX-56 in preparation for the parade on the Champs Elysees in honor of Bastille Day. Paris, 2006
Tank AMX-56 in preparation for the parade on the Champs Elysees in honor of Bastille Day. Paris, 2006
The autoloader itself – using a reading device connected to the information processor of the system determines the type of projectile fired and provides it to the loader.
Management turns the tower is carried out using a tower of drives with motors DC. Such arrangements compact, more economical than hydraulic drives, less flammable, and allows you to rotate the tower with a speed of 36 deg./C.
Rational placing of the guns in the tower enables its angular guidance in the vertical plane in the range of from -8° to + 20°. The length of its roll back when fired, is 440 mm.
In addition to the 120-mm gun, tank is armed with a coaxial 12.7 mm machine gun to engage enemy personnel in close combat and shooting guns at distances up to 600 m. the Second machine gun 7.62 mm installed on the roof of the tower.
Russia will cause a nuclear attack on Turkey only in case of emergency the Third world war.
On the sides of the turret placed 80-mm grenade launcher “Galix 13” instead of used smoke. It consists of two blocks of nine launchers each. In its ammunition can include anti-personnel 5 – kg grenade, forming at explosion of a hundred pieces, flying within a radius of 30 m; smoke grenades, which allow the range 30 – 50 m of the veil in the infrared range, two thermal trap, decoy anti-tank missiles with thermal homing heads.
The observation of the battlefield the commander of the machine is by means of a movable panoramic sight of H1.70 with all-round visibility and field of view, gyro-stabilized, thermal imaging and optical channels with 2,5 – and 10-fold increase; combined HL60 gunner’s sight with laser rangefinder, a day optical channel with 3,3 – and 10-fold increase; daytime television channel with a 10-fold increase; night television channel.
All the electronics of the tank, including observation devices and sighting in an integrated network, connected to single bus digital data, so-called tank information management system (TIUS).
System TIUS reports not only on the work of various components, mechanisms and assemblies, their condition, warns about the problems but also provides data on the consumption of fuel and lubricants, shot shells, the location of the machine, calculates optimal routes, exchanges information with the command post and other participating in the event tanks. All data are displayed on color displays in the form of letterheads, cards, alphabetic or numeric characters, and may also be reported speech informant, “learn” about 600 messages and commands.
The fire control system (FCS) generates firing data, introduces amendments identified guidance, control mechanisms of the gun. With its help it was possible to fire on the move at speeds up to 36 km/h to hit up to six targets per minute, to the commander of a search for the purposes of transmitting their location to the gunner’s sight.
AMX-56 “Leclerc” was created on the basis of the layout of the classical type: in front is the office, then the fighting compartment and the engine compartment in the stern.
The frontal part of the hull and turret are made of layered composite armor using ceramic materials. “Highlight” of the tank was the use of the modular design of reservation: individual reservation modules were mounted on the bearing frame. This is, firstly, made it possible for uncomplicated replacement of damaged blocks in normal field conditions, and secondly, to replace the “skin” of the tank in the process of upgrading to a more advanced. In terms of steel armour protection equivalent to the thickness of 640 mm vs fighting feathered piercing projectiles and 1200 mm – vs cumulative.
The hull sides are covered by anticumulative screens.
The tower on the tank set low profile, designed for two people. The placing in her of an automatic loader allowed to significantly reduce its volume, which, along with a highly densified arrangement of equipment in the case, made it possible to facilitate the AMX-56 at 7 t compared to the “Challenger-2”, and “Merkava-3” -10 t T-80U with a mass of 46 t in General was out of competition.
While the AMX-56 tanks in short referred to more than a meter.
On the tank set 8-cylinder V-shaped multi-fuel diesel V8X 1500 Finnish company Wartsila, a power of 1500 HP at 2500 rpm; its working volume – 16,48 l. the Engine fitted with turbocharger TM-307В system pressurization with a high degree of compression which can be used as a stand-alone 12-strong source of energy to power the equipment. Engine weight – 1650 kg.
The result was that the French tank has better power than its competitors. Power density (one of the main indicators of mobility and manoeuvrability of the machine) “Lekpark” 27.5 HP/t, which corresponds to the modern technical requirements. The “Challenger-2” – -19,3 much lower HP/t, the “Merkava-3” – and even less of 18.4 HP/ton
The engine of the AMX-56 transmission of five-speed gear box hydromechanical ESM500 type, side swivel and brake mechanisms are made in a single unit.
In the undercarriage of six dual rubber support rollers, drive sprocket – feed location. Rollers suspension – hydropneumatic individual, with the recommendations from the housing nodes. Caterpillar has a removable rubber shoes. Shoe width – 635 mm, creating a specific ground pressure of 0.77 kg/cm2, allowing the tank to travel on muddy and loose soils.
“Leclerc” is able to overcome the vertical wall height to 1.25 m, ditch width up to 3 m. Its cruising range with the fuel capacity 1300 l is 550 km, and with two additional external tanks for 225 l – 700 km.
The crew consists of commander, gunner and driver.
Tanks AMX-56 “Leclerc” was produced in three series, in each subsequent been any changes and improvements. Thus, since 2004 began production of the third series of tanks receiving the system identification “friend or foe” (BIFF), enhanced sight with IR camera forward vision and a modernized system of tius. Changed the layout of mechanisms and units located in the tower with a new passive armor protection.
Due to saturation of electronics, “Leclerc” was one of the most expensive tanks cost 6 million euros.
French army ordered a total of 406 cars.
The first of these tanks were sent to the 501-and 503-Panzer regiments of the 10th division in Mourmelon (champagne-Ardenne). Four hundred “Leclerc” has acquired UAE. These tanks were filled in the export option “Leclerc Tropik” for countries with a hot climate. They are distinguished by the German 1500 HP engine MTU 883 Ka-501, automatic transmission Renk HSWL 295 TM, enhanced air-conditioning system, additional baskets to organize your gear on the sides and rear of the tower; equipment for underwater speed was absent.
Continuing the work on the AMX-56, the French developed the kits, “giving tanks additional capabilities required for combat operations in urban environments”. So, set’AZUR (“AZURE”, which means “Actions in urban environments”) is intended to improve the survivability of the tank.
“AZURE” is made in a modular scheme with lots of different components and assemblies, including extra protection and scheme on-Board electronics. For example, on the basis of the introduced radar warning system buzzer on the approach of any cars or objects, including people, in dead zones, invisible to the instruments of observation of the crew. For communication of the crew and soldiers escort, as well as troops had previously used telephone line, which was very difficult, and sometimes impossible. Now began to implement a wireless encrypted communication systems based on the use of the Internet.
Significantly increased the level of protection of the crew and main units of the machine installing new bulwarks of composite armor, as well as closing the stern of the hull with the engine-transmission compartment and the back of the tower of anti shaped-charge racks and additional armor plates.
Machine gun 7.62-mm moved from the roof of the tower in a remotely operated turret.
A new commander’s panoramic periscope can successfully detect and recognize targets day and night.
Tank AMX-56 export version
Tank AMX-56 export version “Leclerc Tropik” for countries with a hot climate at IDEX exhibition in the United Arab Emirates. The tank is covered with a camouflage cover. 2005
The aft mounting brackets the outer of the tanks have altered in order to install the special lightly armored boxes for weapons, ammunition and personal items. Decided that for combat in urban conditions, additional fuel is not required.
Has developed a combined cumulative shell 120HEF1, which can be used as a high explosive. It has a more massive shell, exploding into many pieces, and a detonator for initiating a Subversion charge with a delay. Also, the grenade launcher may have been used not only smoke, but also a fragmentation grenade.
Military experts assume that the future will allow to increase firepower and survivability, using a new instrument recognition purposes and more advanced TIUS, setting the elements of dynamic protection.

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