Home Europe Franco-German MGCS system architecture study kicks off with contract award

Franco-German MGCS system architecture study kicks off with contract award

German Army Leopard tank
German defense ministry file photo

The Franco-German project for the joint development of a new tank for the two countries’ armies has achieved another milestone with the signing of a contract for the Main Ground Combat System architectural design study.

Signed by France and Germany, the contract was awarded to the temporary joint venture composed of Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Nexter, who formed KMW+Nexter Defense Systems (KNDS) through a merger in 2015.

The three companies established an ARGE (short for Arbeitsgemeinschaft in German and translated as a “working group”) in December 2019. Now, the partners and the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), acting in the name of Germany and France, signed a contract for the “system architecture definition study – part 1” (SADS Part 1).

This contract sounds the industrial starting gun for an MGCS demonstration phase.

The aim of the study is to harmonize the final MGCS concepts of the previous phase, to analyse further details, and to propose a common multi-platform architecture. The three contractual partners will assess various aspects of different concepts: technical feasibility in the projected timeframe allotted for the program; ability to fulfill the operational needs of both armies; efficiency and compatibility with national “systems of systems” (SCORPION for France and Digitization of Land-Based Operations (D-LBO) for Germany).

Workshares, as well as funding, in the SADS Part 1 are to be distributed equally between France and Germany on a fifty-fifty basis. The first phase of architecture work is expected to last 18 months.

The MGCS, also referred to as “Leopard 3” by some, will replace the German Leopard 2 main battle tank and the French Leclerc battle tanks from 2035.