KMW, Nexter and Rheinmetall Sign Contract for Initial MGCS Architecture Study

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), Nexter and Rheinmetall got go-ahead from the governments of Germany and France for the initial architecture study for the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) program.

The contract for the “System Architecture Definition Study – Part 1” (SADS Part 1) was signed between the companies and the German defense procurement agency BAAINBw (German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support), acting in the name of Germany and France. This contract initiates the MGCS Demonstration Phase.

MGCS is a joint Franco-German defense project. The program, to be implemented under German leadership, is tasked with developing a new main battle tank to succeed the Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2 and the French Army’s Leclerc starting in 2035.

Leopard 2 main battle tank
Leopard 2A5 main battle tanks (MBTs) of the German Army (Deutsches Heer)
French Army Leclerc MBT
Leclerc main battle tanks (MBT) of the French Army (Armée de terre).

At the Franco-German Ministerial Council meeting in Toulouse on 16 October 2019, the defence ministers of both nations, Florence Parly and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, emphasized their commitment to developing the MGCS.

Making the start of the MGCS procurement programme Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), Nexter Systems and Rheinmetall AG established an ARGE in December 2019. Rheinmetall and KMW is representing Germany for the project while Nexter is representing France.

The ARGE is a German acronym standing for Arbeitsgemeinschaft, or “working group”. Under German law, the ARGE serves as the contractual partner of the procurement authority (BAAINBw) during the first phase of the programme. Officials of the three companies represent the ARGE vis-à-vis third parties.

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 programme; ability to fulfil 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 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.

France and Germany recently signed a framework agreement for the MGCS program.

Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) is representing Germany for the project while Nexter is representing France. KMW+Nexter Defense Systems (*KNDS) unveiled the new Euro Main Battle Tank (EMBT) technology demonstrator at the Eurosatory 2018 exhibition in Paris.

KNDS Euro Main Battle Tank (EMBT) Concept
Euro Main Battle Tank (EMBT) concept developed by Franco-German defence company, KMW+Nexter Defense Systems (KNDS).

The new tank combines the chassis of a German Leopard 2 A7 main battle tank, developed by KMW, with a 120mm turret seen on French Leclerc MBT, built by Nexter. The chassis was modified to host Leclerc’s compact and light turret with automatic loading. The Leopard 2 features a heavier manually loaded turret.

*Franco-German defense major KNDS was formed after the merger between the German family-controlled defence company, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and the French government-owned defence company, Nexter Systems under the KANT (KMW And Nexter Together) project.



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