Saturday, December 9, 2023

KNDS and Rheinmetall chosen by the Hungarian army

The Hungarian armed forces have just placed an order for 44 Leopard 2A7+ combat tanks and 24 155 mm tracked armored self-propelled guns Pzh 2000, making Hungary the 19th customer for the Leopard 2 in the world, and the 8th customer for the Pzh 2000. This order will represent a very significant good capacity for the small Hungarian army of 27,000 men, which today only has 34 T72 battle tanks and only fields a dozen towed 120mm howitzers in terms of artillery.

This order also marks the increasingly significant return of orders for combat tanks and heavy artillery systems throughout the world, even in Europe, despite a significant halt in acquisitions from 2005 Indeed, this is the first order for new Leopard 2s this decade, and the second for new Pzh 2000s, after that of Qatar in 2015, over the same period.

PZH 2000 Croatia
The PZH 2000 155mm armored self-propelled gun is in service with 7 armed forces today, including the Croatian forces pictured here

However, thanks to an effective modernization program and the Leoben program bringing together armored users, Krauss Maffei Wegman, designer and main manufacturer of the Leopard 2, was able to maintain production lines in good condition, despite the absence of new orders. . In fact, and unlike the French Leclerc, or the British Challenger 2, KMW, which has since become KNDS with the French Nexter, is today the only European manufacturer capable of meeting a demand for a combat tank. As the international market opens up again, several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and even India, have no choice but to turn to the American Abrams or the Russian or Chinese productions, when they want to equip themselves with new tanks.

Furthermore, with only 220 combat tanks in France, 326 in Germany, 170 in Great Britain, and less than 600 in all other European countries, the heavy component of the European forces is nevertheless the poor relation of the Defense of the continent, whether at the level of the EU or NATO, which alone manages to field only a third of the 4,500 operational battle tanks available to the Russian armed forces. As such, with an appropriate and probably tighter timetable than that currently envisaged, and reasonable technological and pricing objectives, the Franco-German MGCS program could well be able to rely on a European internal market in high demand. It will still be necessary to overcome the personal political or industrial ambitions of some, and the sometimes excessive technological aspirations of others, while keeping in mind that the T14 Armata will be priced at less than $6 million. unity on the international market, from the beginning of the 2020s...

Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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