Support: June 5, 2002


France's GIAT land defense consortium has completed a prototype of the Engin Principal du Genie (Main Engineer Vehicle) based on the chassis of the Leclerc tank. They used the same vehicle that was previously the prototype of the armored recovery variant. The EPG has a hydraulic arm mounted on the right front of the vehicle; it can pivot through 220 degrees. The arm can reach nine meters and be fitted with various tools such as a bucket (to excavate soil), grapple (to destroy enemy barriers), or hook (to pull barbed-wire obstacles out of the way). The EPG uses the same two winches as the armored recovery vehicle. The main one has 160
meters of cable and a torque 350kN (1050kN using pulleys and reaching only 50m); the small one has 230m of cable and 14kN of torque. The EPG can be fitted with explosive-reactive armor and/or the K2D mine-clearing system. The EPG has a maximum road speed of 70km/hr and a cross-country speed of 56km/hour.--Stephen V Cole


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