In line with the roadmap for the sustainability and renovation of the Leclerc tank, the French Ministry of Defence has renewed its confidence in Nexter by reconducting the support contract, extended to include the treatment of major obsolescence and the renovation of the first 50 tanks. The launch of these operations comes at a crucial pivotal time, when the doctrines of many countries, including France, are reaffirming the central role of the heavy tank as the main mean of tactical superiority on land, in a context marked by the foreseeable return of high-intensity conflicts.
A 10-year support contract
The support contract for the Leclerc tank (MSS 2) came into effect on the 1 st April 2021. Following on from the first lump-sum post-production service support contract (SSPP), MSS 2 retains the same scope of services, with enhanced requirements. In collaboration with the French Defence Procurement Agency (Direction Générale de l'Armement), Nexter is responsible for the tank's configuration throughout its lifecycle and for monitoring obsolescence - what is known as technical control. Nexter is also in charge of supplying spare parts to the SIMMT (Structure intégrée de maintenance et de maintien en condition opérationnelle des matériels terrestres), which is responsible for supplying the forces. The permanent support of vehicles in the Champagne and Provence training centersis also one of the specific features of this trusting partnership between Nexter and the French Army. In addition, Nexter's teams provide technical assistance and can intervene in a limited timeframe within the regiments. Finally, Nexter manages the constitution of parts batches for external interventions, as well as the tools necessary for tank maintenance.
The Leclerc's long-term viability includes the treatment of major obsolescence that could affect its availability, in particular the V8X engine and the turbo-machine, which will be the subject of a remedial campaign. The vision system will be upgraded to a new version in the next few years.