The Leclerc main battle tank was developed by GIAT Industries. Its development began in 1978 and first prototypes were built in 1989. Production of the Leclerc MBT started in 1991. It is named in honor to general Philippe Jacques Leclerc, commander of French armored division during World War II. The Leclerc is one of the best main battle tanks in the world. It is in service with France (406) and United Arab Emirates (388). Some sources claim that currently only 340 Leclercs remain in service with the French Army.
It is protected with advanced modular armor system, which can be tailored to the threat. Its armor is a combination of steel, ceramics and Kevlar. Damaged modules are easily replaceable. Furthermore they can be easily upgraded with more advanced armor modules. Turret and hull roof was designed to withstand top-attack munitions. Chassis of the tank is covered with wide side skirts. The main electrical systems were duplicated to improve survivability.