Hello Charles and Curious,
Asked by The worldMarc Chassillan, engineer and land armament specialist, explains that “France does not have enough tanks to fulfill what could be called an operational mandate”. “During this high-intensity conflict, around 2,000 tanks have already gone up in smoke, ten times what France has. »
Moreover, the author ofEncyclopedia of Modern Battle Tanks (Histoire et collection) recalls that for the arrival of Leclerc tanks on the ground to have a real influence, a battalion of forty vehicles would be needed. “If Paris opts for such an option, it will bury the remaining fleet, which will no longer have spare parts available. » The Leclec tank has not been produced since 2008 and some vehicles are intended to be reused for spare parts. Such donations to Ukraine would be tantamount to pure and simple abandonment.
” This is a political choice. We could get rid of Leclerc and accelerate the program for his successor with a horizon of 2027 and not 2035”, continues Mr. Chassillan. the “tank of the future”also called MGCS (for Main Ground Combat System), which associates the French Nexter and the German Rheinmetall, aims to replace the French Leclerc tank and the German Leopard 2 by 2035-2040.
The expert also specifies that the Leclerc, though designed for “shoot fast, far and with precision”is not self-sufficient and remains vulnerable, especially to air attacks. “If we engage [ces véhicules], they must be engaged seriously, so that they are effective or victorious. Like all tanks, the Leclerc needs a tactical environment. This type of vehicle only finds its interest if it has an aerial protection unit, assault engineer vehicles to open breaches in minefields and protected and well-armed mechanized infantry for the attack. escort. » The mere delivery of these vehicles to Ukraine would therefore be nothing more than a poisoned gift.
All the more reason for Ukraine to mainly demand German Leopards? “Volodymyr Zelensky went to the easiest”analyzes Marc Chassillan. “The Leopard is the most present heavy tank in Europe [environ 3 500 exemplaires sont sortis des chaînes de production, selon l’Agence France-Presse], so it is in this tank that you have to type. It’s not a matter of technical preference. »