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France and Germany cement deal for state-of-the-art battle tank

France and Germany cement deal for state-of-the-art battle tank
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
Apr 26, 2024 10:27 PM

Germany and France announce a partnership to develop a combat tank with laser and artificial intelligence, known as the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS)

Germany and France confirmed on Friday that they would work together to build a state-of-the-art combat tank that incorporates laser and artificial intelligence, a major step towards enhancing their military prowess. 

The revolutionary Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) is being produced in conjunction with Germany’s Boris Pistorius and France’s Sebastien Lecornu. This relationship was officially established through the signing of a memorandum of understanding in a formal ceremony conducted in Paris.

The choice to proceed with this initiative shows how Berlin and Paris are working together to emphasize unity, especially in light of recent disagreements over how best to assist Ukraine in its war with Russia.

Launched in 2040, the joint project was first envisioned in 2017 with the goal of creating a replacement for Germany’s Leopard and France’s Leclerc tanks. However, difficulties arising from rivalry between German and French industrial organizations as well as different geopolitical objectives between the two countries have hampered the development of the tank.

Following the signing ceremony, Minister Pistorius called the occasion a “real milestone” and Minister Lecornu underlined that “this is not the tank of the future, but the future of the tank” at a press briefing.

Potentially transforming land combat, the MGCS holds the potential to offer innovative technologies. It will consist of an all-encompassing system of human and unmanned vehicles, including offensive and defensive drones, advanced artificial intelligence, and laser capabilities.

Initially led by the military industry giant KNDS, a joint venture between Germany’s KMW and France’s Nexter, the project had equal financial support from Berlin and Paris and was overseen by German management. The dynamics of the collaboration changed, though, when Germany’s Rheinmetall joined the group in 2019.

As per the recently formed accord, approved producers will take accountability for important tank system parts including turrets, platforms, and armaments. Talks are already in progress with manufacturers to create a first demonstrator that will serve as a model for the prototype.

“The aim is to have the contracts in place by the end of the year,” Minister Pistorius said, acknowledging the challenging timeframe. Minister Pistorius stressed that formalizing contracts between French and German businesses was a must before inviting other partners, even if nations such as Italy had indicated interest in joining the effort.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 4:49 PM