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Main Ground Combat System (also called Leopard 3)[1] is a project by France and Germany since 2012 to replace their currently deployed AMX Leclerc and Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBTs).[2][3][4] In 2016, the program was in the concept phase which was projected to be completed by 2017.[5] A precondition for the new tank is the development of a new main cannon with better performance. German defence company Rheinmetall joined the program and will develop a new cannon with better performance than the Rheinmetall L/55 cannon which was introduced on the Leopard 2A6.[5] Rheinmetall demonstrated a 130mm L51 at Eurosatory military trade fair in 2016.[6] At Eurosatory fair in June 2018 in Paris, France, KMW+Nexter Defense Systems unveiled the "European Main Battle Tank" (EMBT), a technology demonstrator main battle tank that combines the hull of a Leopard 2A7 with the lighter, two-man turret of a Leclerc.[7]

Deployment of the new tank is scheduled for 2035.[8]

European Main Battle Tank[edit | edit source]

European Main Battle Tank
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin Germany/France
Production history
Designer KMW+Nexter Defense Systems
Designed 2015-2018
Manufacturer KMW+Nexter Defense Systems
Produced 2018
Width 3.7 m (12.14 ft)
Crew 3

Armor Composite armour
Rheinmetall 120 mm L/55
Engine MTU MB 873 Ka-501 12-cylinder diesel
1,500 PS (1,479 hp, 1,103 kW) at 2600 rpm
Transmission Renk HSWL 354
Suspension Torsion-bar

The first step in the MGCS program was a Franco-German technology demonstrator, to show that the two countries can jointly develop a next generation tank.[9]

At Eurosatory military trade fair, June 11–15, 2018 in Paris, France, KMW+Nexter Defense Systems unveiled the "European Main Battle Tank" (EMBT), main battle tank that combines the hull of a Leopard 2A7 with the lighter, two-man turret of a Leclerc.[7] The European Main Battle Tank or Enhanced Main Battle Tank[10] is a main battle tank which combines the hull of a Leopard 2A7 with the turret of a Leclerc. It is the first product of KMW+Nexter Defense Systems (KNDS), which is a merger between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann of Germany and Nexter Systems of France. The European Main Battle Tank or 'Eurotank' was first unveiled at Eurosatory military trade fair, June 11–15, 2018 in Paris, France.[7]

Design[edit | edit source]

The hull, engine and entire chassis comes from the Leopard 2A7, which can carry 68 tons, were modified to host the compact and light turret with automatic loading from the Leclerc.[11]

According to Nexter’s head of tracked and armor programs, Francois Groshany, the benefit of the tank is the combination of the "very high capability" Leopard 2 chassis with the lighter Leclerc turret.[12] The turret features an autoloader. This helps insulate the crew from ammunition storage in the event of a fire.[13] The 2-man Leclerc turret is approximately 6 tons lighter than the 3-man Leopard 2 turret. The lower weight of the vehicle enables it to traverse bridges that might not be able to support heavier tanks.[14]

Users[edit | edit source]

The French media has reported Italy has expressed an interest in acquiring the EMBT.[7]

Tanks of comparable role, performance and era[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Pike, John. "Leopard 3". https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/leopard3.htm. Retrieved 20 November 2018. 
  2. "Design concepts emerge for possible new French–German Main Ground Combat System - Jane's 360". https://www.janes.com/article/80463/design-concepts-emerge-for-possible-new-french-german-main-ground-combat-system. Retrieved 20 November 2018. 
  3. "Europe creates its supertank - The Siver Week". https://sivweek.com/europe-creates-its-supertank/7881/. Retrieved 20 November 2018. 
  4. http://www.isl.eu/documents/flyers/EN/isl_MGCS_EN_nm.pdf
  5. 5.0 5.1 Majumdar, Dave (18 February 2016). "Get Ready, Russia: This European Power Has Plans For a Lethal New Tank". https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/get-ready-russia-european-power-has-plans-lethal-new-tank-15251. Retrieved 20 November 2018. 
  6. "Rheinmetall Ups Tank Firepower with new 130mm Gun - Defense Update:". 14 June 2016. https://defense-update.com/20160614_rheinmetall-ups-tank-firepower-with-new-130mm-gun.html. Retrieved 20 November 2018. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Peck, Michael (4 July 2018). "European Main Battle Tank: France and Germany's New Joint Super Weapon?" (in en). https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/european-main-battle-tank-france-and-germanys-new-joint-super-weapon-25017. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 
  8. https://www.janes.com/article/81083/eu-tank-breaks-cover-es18d5
  9. "France and Germany: on the right tank tracks?". https://www.iiss.org/blogs/military-balance/2018/07/france-and-germany-tank-tracks. Retrieved 20 November 2018. 
  10. Frahan, Alain Henry de. "Eurosatory 2018: KNDS presents the Enhanced Main Battle Tank - Eurosatory 2018 Official News Online - Defence security military exhibition 2018 daily news category". http://www.armyrecognition.com/eurosatory_2018_official_news_online/eurostory_2018_knds_presents_the_european_main_battle_tank.html. Retrieved 20 November 2018. 
  11. GUILLEMIN, Matthias. "NEXTER Group - KNDS presents its first joint product exclusively at Eurosatory" (in en-gb). http://www.nexter-group.fr/en/press/797-knds-presente-en-exclusivite-son-premier-produit-commun-au-salon-eurosatory. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 
  12. Martin, Sebastian Sprenger, Jeff (11 June 2018). "French and German armor makers test the waters with a 'Euro-tank'". https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/eurosatory/2018/06/11/french-and-german-armor-makers-test-the-waters-with-a-euro-tank/. 
  13. "The Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme – is it worth it?". 23 June 2018. https://uklandpower.com/2018/06/23/the-challenger-2-life-extension-programme-is-it-worth-it/. Retrieved 20 November 2018. 
  14. "Eurosatory 2018: KNDS presents joint Franco-German tank demonstrator - Jane's 360". https://www.janes.com/article/80889/eurosatory-2018-knds-presents-joint-franco-german-tank-demonstrator. Retrieved 20 November 2018. 

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