The Franco-German project to develop a next-generation tank is moving to the next phase after the German government announced the launch of a “system architecture definition study”.
Both countries are committing funds to the study that is scheduled to be completed in the next two years. It is being undertaken to harmonize the two countries’ needs and expectations from the new tank.
The architectural study is to be followed by a technology demonstrator phase.
Named Main Ground Combat System (MGCS), or even Leopard 3, the new tank is expected to replace the Leopard and Leclerc tanks in service with the armies of Germany and France.
The new main battle tank, which the two governments tout as a completely reinvented system, is expected to enter service in the 2030s. Instead of being a follow-up to the Leopard 2, Germany indicated the MGCS could be part of a system of systems, incorporating manned and unmanned platforms into a single operating mechanism.
The main contractors in the undertaking are expected to be Germany’s Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann (KMW) and France’s Nexter. The two companies created the KMW+Nexter Defense Systems (KNDS) through a merger in 2015.