Procurement: March 6, 2001


The UAE has told France it will not accept any more Leclerc tanks until France complies with contractual requirements that it will provide free upgrades for Leclerc's already delivered. According to the way the UAE reads the contract, GIAT (builder of Leclerc) should keep the UAE tanks at the same standard as French tanks for the life of the vehicles at no cost. The French do not agree that the contract requires these upgrades to be provided, at least not for free, not forever, and not immediately. GIAT has lost $1.4 billion on the sale of Leclercs to the UAE, and knew when the contract was signed that it would lose money. The deal was intended to create jobs inside France, keep the French national tank industry afloat, and get a better price for tanks sold to the French Army. The French government has had to bail GIAT out of bankruptcy more than once.Stephen V Cole


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