Demand for battle tanks at highest level in years

The authorities of Oman have announced their intention to order 72 K2 Black battle tanks Panthermanufactured by the company Hyundaie Rotem Co. This 55-ton heavy tank is armed with a 120 mm cannon, a 7,62 mm coaxial machine gun and a 12,7 mm machine gun in a remotely operated turret. It has composite armor and active protections. The announced budget of $880 million places the K2 in the middle of the price range for Western tanks.

In a few weeks, this is the third order for combat tanks which has been announced, after the order of 250 Altays by Turkey and 64 T90s by Vietnam. 

After the years of disgrace following the end of the Cold War, having led several countries to completely abandon the battle tank (Canada, Netherlands, etc.), we see that orders continue to be announced, to the great damn European manufacturers who have eliminated their assembly lines.

However, resuming production of heavy tanks in Europe would make a lot of sense. Firstly, for the European market itself, which is very deficit in this area compared to Russia, which receives 200 to 250 modernized combat tanks each year. Remember that the British and French do not plan to field more than 200 combat tanks by 2030, and Germany 350. On the other hand, the export market is in great demand for the renewal of its combat tanks today. . Many countries still have older generation tanks, such as the Russian T64, the American M60, the Leopard I Germans and the French AMX 30, wish to replace them with more modern tanks, capable of surviving in the current operational environment.

As such, if there is a heavy tank that has shown remarkable capabilities and performances, it is the French Leclerc. Constituting the spearhead of the Emirati offensive against the Houthi forces in Yemen, the Leclerc showed excellent qualities in combat, where the Saudi M1A2 Abrams and the Turkish Leopard II suffered notable losses. 

Therefore, it is possible to think that if the French tank in its modernized version were once again offered on the export market, the aura created in Yemen would be likely to encourage potential customers to consider the French offer with interest. A way for the French forces to strengthen their heavy combat capabilities without affecting the budgetary effort of the current LPM.

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