TechGermany and France unveil joint "tank of the future" project

Germany and France unveil joint "tank of the future" project

Demonstrator of French-German future tank technology
Demonstrator of French-German future tank technology
Images source: © Nexter
3:27 PM EDT, April 26, 2024

German and French defense ministers have signed a joint declaration on the so-called 'tank of the future.' The Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) project aims to replace the Leopard 2 and Leclerc tanks with a modern combat system tailored to the needs of future battlefields. According to announcements, the new vehicles are expected to debut by 2040.

Germany's Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and his French counterpart, Sebastien Lecornu, declared their nations' readiness to advance the "tank of the future" project. Deutsche Welle reported that this initiative will become a cornerstone of their countries' ground defense strategies in the coming years. The MGCS will replace the Leopard 2 and Leclerc tanks, marking a significant development in land combat platforms.

The "Future Tank": A Franco-German collaboration

In 2017, Germany and France concurred on several defense industry joint ventures, including the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), drone system advancements, and the MGCS. Besides developing the "tank of the future", the MGCS program will incorporate a variety of integrated solutions and vehicles based on this platform. Deutsche Welle highlights Germany's pivotal role in the MGCS's development with France spearheading the FCAS initiative.

The MGCS's designation as the "tank of the future" is justified by its envisioned attributes. Primarily, it will be lighter than current tanks, focusing heavily on mobility. Despite not having heavy armor, its survivability will be bolstered by high situational awareness, electronic warfare capabilities, and active and passive defense systems, including stealth features and advanced camouflage.

Furthermore, the tank will incorporate artificial intelligence technology to aid the MGCS crew in intelligence gathering, planning, command, and fire coordination. This will significantly enhance decision-making speed. Communication systems will enable the swift transmission of tactical data among crew and command centers, closely integrating each MGCS unit on the battlefield through a data cloud.

The MGCS is anticipated to identify targets about 6 miles away and engage enemies within a 5-mile range. Its unmanned turret is expected to be equipped with 130 or 140-mm guns, while the tank's weight is projected not to surpass 55 tons. Additionally, the MGCS's weaponry will include laser systems.

Related content