The Ukrainian Armed Forces will receive Leclerc tanks from France - what these combat vehicles are capable of

Vladyslav Moskalenko

The Ukrainian Armed Forces will receive Leclerc tanks from France - what these combat vehicles are capable of

Ukraine's Foreign Minister has announced that the country is in talks with France to receive new military aid in the form of the latest Leclerc tanks.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces will receive French-made Leclerc tanks as part of a new military aid package. This was announced by Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Ukraine is currently negotiating with France to purchase these modern armoured combat vehicles. This step comes after other countries, such as Germany and the United Kingdom, provided Leopard 2 and Challenger 2 Abrams tanks for use by Ukrainian defenders against the Russian invaders.

What kind of tanks are these?

The Leclerc is the main battle tank used by the French army since 1992, when 876 tanks were produced and put into service. It weighs between 54 and 57 tonnes, depending on the modification, and has a crew of three, including a commander, gunner and driver. The armament includes a 120 mm smoothbore gun that holds 40 rounds of ammunition, which are divided between manual loading (18) and automatic loading (22). The vehicle is also equipped with two machine guns: one 12.7mm MG mounted on the turret roof and the other 7.62mm MG coaxially mounted next to the main gun, as well as a SAGEM HL-60 monocular sight with Athos thermal imager for day and night vision, a panoramic combined binocular sight and a laser rangefinder for target acquisition and accuracy.

It is also equipped with enhanced armour protection thanks to its modular design, which allows for the rapid replacement of tungsten and titanium alloy armour blocks in the field if necessary.

Finally, its high manoeuvrability thanks to a powerful engine sets it apart from many other modern tanks, proving why it remains the backbone of French armoured units even today, despite some drawbacks such as slightly weaker armour than some competitors or a higher unit cost than others.

Dmytro Kuleba

Dmytro Hennadiyovych Kuleba is an experienced diplomat who has served as Ukraine's Foreign Minister since 2020. Previously, he held various positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the past decade, including twice as Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations 2011 2015 2019 2020 In addition, Dmytro Kuleba officially represented Ukraine at the World Trade Organisation. In 2018, during his tenure as head of the diplomatic mission, he achieved significant success in securing arms deals and raising the country's international profile. He has also received numerous governmental awards in recognition of his achievements: Civil Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in 2016, and the honorary title of the Heroic Cross Order of Merit in 2017, making him a respected figure both domestically and internationally.