KNDS presents the E-MBT battle tank at the EuroSatory exhibition

KNDS, the Franco-German company resulting from the merger between Nexter and Krauss-Maffei Wegman, created a stir at the EuroSatory trade show by presenting the E-MBT (for European Main Battle Tank), a hybrid tank resulting from the marriage of a Leopard 2 and a Leclerc. From the first, the E-MBT keeps the cell, the engine and the running gear, while it takes the turret from the Leclerc. The result is far from being a simple concept, with a tank having a light 2-person turret, automatic loading and the excellent sights of the Leclerc, and the robustness and power of the hull and engine of the Leopard 2 , allowing the tank to carry up to 10 tonnes of additional loads.

Thanks to this increase in power, the E-MBT can be equipped with the latest hard-Kill Soft Kill protection systems, additional communication and detection equipment, reconnaissance drones and additional weapons, such as a tele turret. -operated with larger caliber and/or anti-tank and/or anti-aircraft missiles. 

This approach is reminiscent of that of Russia in the modernization of its T-72, T-80 and T-90, bringing precisely on the basis of a proven and reliable structure, a boost in power, equipment and protection, all for a reasonable price considering the low investment needs.

Furthermore, while French and German manufacturers were reluctant to reopen the Leclerc and Leo2 production lines, they seem ready to do so within the framework of this joint project. 

The E-MBT is presented as a project intended for export, in order to cope with the resurgence of combat tank needs in the world, and to maintain a commercial presence while awaiting the arrival of the future combat tank. new generation Franco-German, which should enter service within ten years.

But both France and Germany are today undersized in terms of battle tanks, with only 200 Leclercs and 370 Leopards 2. However, it is this capacity to provide a high-intensity response which will determine, in any case largely, the sincere or not adhesion of all the countries of the eastern glacis of the European Union, facing the Russian threat, and its 2500 modernized battle tanks by 2020, 4000 in 2025.

In fact, it would not be absurd, far from it, to consider a Franco-German “domestic” order concerning the E-MBT, intended to strengthen the high-intensity component of the forces, and to provide a capacity of conventional deterrence to the European Union. Given the MBT needs of several NATO and EU countries, a positive valuation model would be very feasible, limiting or even neutralizing the additional equipment costs of such a program for the French and German budget.

Finally, a domestic order would support the development of the E-MBT by strengthening its sustainability, and therefore its export attractiveness.

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