Leclerc BR should be lowered

The Leclerc does not fit top tier

This topic is to discuss the worthiness of the Leclerc in the current top tier landscape and will not focus on other struggling vehicles. I believe that as of now, the Leclerc should not be anywhere close to the same BRs as the Leopard 2A7V, STRV122s, M1A2 Sep V2 and T80BVM.
The Leclerc gets outperformed in every meaningful metric by all of these vehicles.
In terms of armement, the Leclerc still only has access to the OFL 120 F1 as a top tier shell, which is the equivalent of the DM43. This makes it the worst performing top tier shell in the game.
While many argue that this little difference does not change much to the META, I’d argue the effects of having better penetration at top tier is still enormous, as it allows for much better spalling, something that the OFL 120 F1 is not great at doing.
The armement is not the only issue. The Leclerc armor does not allow any mistake. Currently, if facing one of the tanks mentioned above, while the Leclerc will have to aim carefully at the few weak spots offered by the enemies, more than 90% of the crew compartment of the Leclerc can be penetrated easily by all of those tanks.
Then, people might argue that the Leclerc has an advantage on the reload, but once again, it’s not so clearcut, even more so right now. The Leopard and STRV122 can (and often) achieve the same reload as the Leclerc at 6s with an aced crew. Having these crew levels is no extremely common at top tier, as most nations get a new MBT at most once every odd year, meaning that people have all the time they want to ace their crew. As for the cas of the Abrams, it now gets access to a 5s reload with an aced crew, meaning it now vastly outperforms the Leclerc in the firepower department. Only the Russian tanks are actually outperformed by the Leclerc at this point in time
Finally, as part of the triad, the Leclerc is also the worst performing of these tanks when it comes to mobility. While its top speed is great, it lags behind even the much heavier strv122s in low speed acceleration and overall handling (turning speeds, neutral steering…). Once again, the only advantage the Leclerc has is in its reverse speed, especially compared to Russian tanks, but its not like said Russian tanks often have to reverse facing a Leclerc due to the sheer difference in survivability.
When it comes to miscellaneous things, such as optics, all other nations have caught up and many now outperform the Leclercs, with all of them having gen 2 or 3 thermals both for the gunner and commander, while the only the Leclerc S21 actually has a commander thermals. The Leclerc is also the tank with the worst ability to act defensively, be it by only having 2 smoke drops, while others have a minimum of 4, but also with its lack of roof mounted Mg (except for the AZUR) which is very noticeable when dealing with helicopters.
Then, the Leclerc stingily enough is the only Western MBT that suffers from the same exploding fuel tanks as the Russian tanks. The difference between them being that this fuel tanks are placed in easily penetrable places, and even worse, are placed in the inert parts of the tank, meaning that if the enemy somehow misses the crew compartment but still manages to hit the Leclerc, the chances are very high that it will still score a one shot kill.
Finally, the Leclerc still lacks the presence of a Spall liner. Spall liners have proven to be extremely potent in the current META, and its lacks of it really shows. The Leclerc has already been an easily one shootable tank, but it could count on the idea of being able to also quickly engage its target first to try and kill them before they can shoot back. Now, with spall liners rendering one shots of other tanks much, much harder, the idea of not being able to disable an enemy tank quickly (between the gunner and commander override) before being shot at and killed instantly makes using the Leclerc much harder.

Now, while the Leclerc might never have been the best at any of the points mentioned above, it used to be considered a jack of all trades, when other top tiers only excelled in one of those categories. The Leclerc acted as a tank that was good at everything even if not the best at anything. But those day are now over, with the Leclerc being vastly outperformed by all mentioned top tier in all of those metrics, except a few rare exceptions. Thus, I do not believe the Leclerc should stay at the same Battle Rating as those vehicles (T90M, Leopard 2A7V, STRV122s, M1A2 Sep V2)

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Leclerc is in a sad state as it stands. In real life, it is objectively one of the best tanks in the world. Whilst it’s armour may not be on par with the Leopard 2A7V, where the Leclerc really distinguishes itself from its NATO counterparts is it’s vastly superior mobility, fire-on-the-move capability and optronics (French thermal imagers sport superior detection and identification ranges than the ATTICA-GL despite being 15 years older).

It’s honestly funny how the devs refuse to reduce the reload rate…

We know the Leclerc has a technical reload rate of 20 RPM. During French army testing of the Leclerc (pulled from the national archives), it is stated at 2:15 « and under the operator demand, a loading can be done in less than 3s without losing the firing position ». However, this is reduced to 12 RPM to ensure less damage to the autoloader especially when the Leclerc is travelling up to 90 km/h. Though I’m sure if a tank is pointing a gun at a Leclerc crew they’ll be increasing the rate of fire…

If the devs can’t be bothered fixing the Leclerc they should reduce all of their BRs to 11.3 where the M1A1HC sits with better armour, reload, penetration and slightly better mobility.

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