Tank linked to drones: Berlin and Paris lay foundation for “superior land combat system”

Tank connected to drones
Berlin and Paris lay the foundation for a “superior land combat system”

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German and French defense companies establish a project company to develop a state-of-the-art land combat system. According to Defense Minister Pistorius, the project is not about further developing the Leopard tank, but about something completely new.

The defense companies involved want to establish a joint project company for the development of a state-of-the-art land combat system planned by Germany and France. In a statement, the companies KNDS Deutschland (formerly KMW), KNDS France, Rheinmetall AG, Rheinmetall Landsysteme and Thales welcomed the agreement for the billion-dollar armaments project signed by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and his French counterpart Sébastien Lecornu. They spoke of a “significant milestone in the development of a superior land combat system for the armed forces of the future.”

The four companies KNDS Germany, KNDS France, Rheinmetall Landsysteme and Thales Six intended to found the joint company “in order to best and synergistically meet the challenges of such a complex multi-platform system.” The approach of the agreement is suitable “to ensure a fair distribution of the workload in a balanced ratio of 50:50 between French and German companies – also taking into account the companies’ complementary technical skills and resources.” A contract should be implemented by 2025.

Something completely new

The defense ministers’ agreement lays the political foundation for the combat system known as the “Main Ground Combat System” (MGCS) and also defines the long-disputed distribution of tasks. The major project should therefore be structured along eight pillars: Germany and France are in charge of two of each, and the other four should be coordinated together.

According to Defense Minister Pistorius, it is not about further development of the Leopard and Leclerc main battle tanks, but about “something completely new”. The land combat system is intended to connect a future battle tank with drones and other unmanned systems in a data network, thus enabling a leap in military technology. Industrial distribution struggles had led to delays and tensions between Berlin and Paris.

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