|Product type:||Weapons & Weapon Systems|
The 120 mm smoothbore gun F1 has been designed for installation in the Giat Industries Leclerc MBT currently in production for the French Army and the United Arab Emirates. The first production Leclerc MBT was completed in December 1991 and delivered in January 1992.
By early 1999 well over 400 of these 120 mm smoothbore guns had been built for the home and export markets.
The smoothbore gun F1 is chrome-plated, fitted with a thermal sleeve and has a vertical sliding breech mechanism. It is also fitted with a muzzle reference system and a compressed air system for removing propellant fumes.
In the Leclerc application it is fed by a bustle-mounted automatic loader, covered later in this volume, which holds 22 rounds of ammunition.
The 120 mm F1 gun fires the same 120 mm ammunition as the German Rheinmetall 120 mm smoothbore gun installed in the Leopard 2 and its US equivalent, the M256 which is installed in the M1A1 and M1A2AbramsMBTs.
The French 120 mm F1 gun is, however, 1 m longer which increases muzzle velocity and armour penetration of APFSDS projectiles; it also gives a longer range.
This weapon has also been referred to as the 120-26 gun. Production of this gun is undertaken at the Giat Industries facility at Bourges. Although the first production application is the Giat Industries Leclerc MBT, this weapon can be installed on any MBTs that weigh over 40 tonnes.
In production. In service with the French Army and the United Arab Emirates installed in Giat Industries Leclerc MBT.