The Franco-German ambitious project to build a Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) is one step closer to seeing the daylight with companies- KMW, Nexter and Rheinmetall, receiving the go-ahead to begin initial architecture study.
"With the contract on a system architecture definition study concluded between industry and the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr), the future German-French Main Ground Combat System (MGCSMain Ground Combat System) has reached its next milestone," German Federal Ministry of Defense said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
The contract for “System Architecture Definition Study - Part 1” (SADS Part 1) sounds the industrial starting gun for a MGCS Demonstration Phase.
The European Main Battle Tank will combine the hull of a Leopard 2A7 with the lighter, two-man turret of a Leclerc. The project was launched to replace the AMX Leclerc and Leopard 2 main battle tanks currently in service with the two countries.
This would be the first new tank design in the world in decades. It has been over 55 years since the introduction of the Leopard 2 main battle tank and 25 years after delivery of the first Puma infantry fighting vehicle.
The programme, to be implemented under German political leadership, is tasked with developing a main combat system to succeed the Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2 and the French Army’s Leclerc starting in 2035.
Marking the start of the MGCS procurement programme, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), Nexter Systems and Rheinmetall AG established a consortium, ARGE, in December 2019. 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 part of the study is to be completed within 20 months.