In the 1980s, GIAT Industries developed one of the best modern tanks—the Leclerc tank—named after a French general of the early 20th century. One of several prototypes that they created on their way to the Leclerc was none other than Projet 4, or the Char Futur.
The Char Futur 4 has a lot in common with the French royal musketeers of the past and would have served well in the King’s guard. Thanks to its compact oscillating turret, this newcomer also resembles the Bat.-Chât. 25 t and the Lorraine 40 t, making it a powerful choice for an experienced player with a well-trained crew.
Its crew of three includes the Commander, who operates the radio and loads shells, the Gunner, who has an additional qualification as a Loader, and the Driver.
One of the vehicle’s biggest advantages is its low profile. The base concealment value for the vehicle when stationary is 16.13 and on the move, it’s still 12.08. Don’t forget that these can be improved with the right equipment and crew skills.
The Char Futur 4 doesn’t have much armor but, on the upside, this makes it pretty agile. With a top speed of 60 km/h, specific power of 23 h.p./t and engine with 620 horsepower, it won’t win a drag race, but its maneuverability is almost unrivaled.
French musketeers didn’t wear steel cuirasses. Instead, they were dressed in a vest and a short azure coat. The Char Futur can’t boast about its armor either, but that doesn’t make it completely defenseless. Its lower front is covered with 55 mm of steel, and, although the upper hull only has a 45 mm plate, its angle will have most incoming calibers ricochet. The sides have 40 mm armor and the rear has 30 mm, so avoid engaging an enemy wielding an HE gun. Instead, make sure to use the 7.5 degrees of gun depression to its fullest and bait enemies into aiming at your upper hull.
Musketeers wore hats decorated with ostrich feathers, inside which were metal cups fashioned as a piece of headwear that could offer protection against a sabre strike. The Char Futur’s turret might be missing feathers, but it is also covered with 140 mm of metal at the front, creating another chance for a ricochet.
The sides of the turret still have 90 mm of armor and only the rear goes down to 30 mm. Nevertheless, the relatively high amount of steel at the front affects the turret traverse speed, which is 30 deg/s, just like the German E 50.
Despite its unremarkable armor, this vehicle can survive enemy fire thanks to a massive pool of 1,750 HP.
The main armament of the vehicle is a 105 mm gun with an autoreloader that can upset any enemy on the battlefield. Here’s where the musketeer metaphor becomes even more apparent. Back in the day, the musket was a real problem for armored horsemen, and its heavy bullets could easily punch through the armor.
The gun of our French hero penetrates 264 mm of steel with a standard shell, and 330 mm with a HEAT shell. Its 4-shell autoreloader with 390 damage per shot delivers such firepower that even a German Maus would think twice before confronting it.
To send an enemy to the Garage, you don’t even have to get up close and personal like with the Bat.-Chât. 25 t. The 105 mm gun has a dispersion value of 0.34, allowing it to play as a sniper and shoot at the enemy’s weak points from afar.
A musket bullet could penetrate a cuirass at a range of 200 m, and it could strike an individual target from 50 m, making infantry a formidable opponent for armored cavalry. At the time, that was an impressive distance! However, the musket had its flaws, including a long reload of between 1.5 and 2 minutes.
The Char Futur 4 doesn’t reload very quickly either. The time between shots is 4 seconds, while the full reload time is 40 seconds. These numbers dictate a “shoot, fall back, shoot” playstyle. The aiming time of the gun, however, is 2.2 seconds, which is not so bad.