Armor: December 19, 2000


When France built the Leclerc tank, it designed it for short periods of intense use. The problem came when these tanks were sent to the long-term low-intensity mission in Kosovo. Maintenance became a nightmare. The French quickly upgraded a battalion of Leclerc's (40 tanks) to a new Mk2 standard with improved engine controls and have now issued a $158 million contract to GIAT to upgrade enough tanks for a second such "long deployment" battalion. The Mk2 tanks also have an improved environmental system which increases crew comfort.--Stephen V Cole


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