KNDS is preparing the intermediate generation tank, including for France!

Until now, the strategy pursued by the Franco-German group KNDS, bringing together the French Nexter and the German Krauss-Maffeï Wegmann, could seem obscure, not to say artificial.

Indeed, although brought together in a single entity, with the MGCS program in a pivotal position, the two national companies, and their supervisory authorities, appeared to continue to evolve independently, without real synergy, and without producing armored vehicles truly intended simultaneously with the Bundeswehr and the Army.

Recent events, with the appearance of the RCH-155, a gun on wheels like the Caesar, and especially the Leopard 2A8, an evolution of Leopard 2A7 intended to ensure the replacement of part of the Western tanks inherited from the Cold War, could even support this hypothesis of two national entities communicating little or not at all, artificially brought together in a Franco-German group for more political purposes than industrial and defense.

However, the range of heavy tanks presented by KNDS, during the Eurosatory 2024 exhibition, allows us to take a fresh look at the group's strategy, and not just its sub-entities, and demonstrates an astutely constructed synergy, even if it does not take the form that we could initially expect.

KNDS clarifies its battle tank strategy

Indeed, KNDS is presenting, at this show, which aims to be the most important European show, probably worldwide, in terms of land armaments, not one, nor even two combat tanks, but five, in a vision of the range linked to a relevant calendar.

Leopard 2A8 from KNDS at Eurosatory 2024
Le Leopard 2A8 first appeared in public at the Eurosatory 2024 show

Two models are currently in production. THE Leopard 2A8 is already ordered by Germany, Norway and the Czech Republic, and is expected to be ordered by the Netherlands and Lithuania soon. Its French counterpart is the modernized Leclerc, the version currently being deployed within the French Army, through modernization of its own fleet.

The objective of this offer is to respond to the geopolitical emergency, in particular for Germany and France, while providing a solution to the short-term modernization needs of European armies, to deal with tensions with Russia, and to compensate for the sending of armored vehicles and tanks to Ukraine.

Above all, it is about no longer ceding market share, in Europe in particular, to K2 Black. Panther South Korean, designed in part thanks to German technology transfers, and already chosen by Poland, as well as the American M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams, chosen by Poland and Romania.

For this, it is above all the Leopard German 2A8, it is true much more accomplished than the Leclerc, certainly modernized, but at a minimum, which is put forward by KNDS. Especially since the requests come above all, today, from European armies, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann's favorite playground.

A short-term intermediate offer to prepare for the arrival of the MGCS

The second part of this offer also consists of two models, one French, the other German, intended to enter service in the next few years, to form the interim generation of combat tanks, now well established. known, awaiting an MGCS which will not arrive before 2045, perhaps 2050.

Le Leopard 2A-RC 3.0 foreshadows the Leopard 3 of the Bundeswehr

The first to have been revealed, at the end of last week, is le Leopard 2A-RC 3.0, a radical evolution of Leopard 2, equipped, among other things, with a fully automated turret and a crew reduced to 3 members.

Leopard 2A-RC 3.0 by KNDS Deutschland
Le Leopard 2A-RC 3.0 is equipped with an unmanned robotic turret.

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    • This can be explained. The Leclerc evolved is presented, at the Eurosatory show, as a “ready to produce” model, a bit like the KF51 Panther. However, the Prometeus will not be definitively ready until 2025/2026. So, it was perhaps deemed better to show it in its "ready" configuration, rather than its upcoming configuration. In addition, the Prometeus being present on the EMBT demonstrator, it is quite easy, commercially, to make the bridge.

  1. Reading you I am not sure that the Leclerc Evolved meets the needs for rusticity and massification demonstrated by the Russian engagement in Ukraine and which the French army seems to need.

    • The Leclerc Evolved is based on a Leclerc EAU body, which has proven reliable and effective in Yemen. It has a power-to-weight ratio greater than 26 hp per ton, and has a hard and soft kill APS, increasing its survivability, while the ARX 30 provides defense against drones. It seems to me to respond rather well to the lessons of the war in Ukraine, on the contrary. Rusticity combines the notions of reliability, availability and ease of maintenance. The fact that it is technologically advanced does not necessarily mean that it is not rustic, in the noble sense of the term.


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