There were many new products at the Eurosatori-2018 exhibition, but a strange resonance was caused by a strange armored object called the Euro Main Battle Tank (EMBT), presented by the Franco-German consortium KNDS, founded in 2015 by the German concern Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and the French Nexter Defense Systems. He reminded a product of German unnatural sexual relations tank “Leopard 2” and the French “Leclerc”, yes, in fact, it is. Unnatural because both objects are males, and not like in the famous ditty of the Great Patriotic War about "the tank fell in love with a tank and drove her to the forest for a walk". He also recalled the work of the famous biotechnologist of the 19th century. Dr. Victor Frankenstein and his historical prototype from the 17th century, who really tried to create a living person from parts of corpses. With a completely predictable result. In this case, the result is about the same.
Here, in general, the process of creating a new car was similar. The EMBT consists of a Leopard hull and a Leclerc tower. Moreover, like Dr. Frankenstein, it was impossible to blind without problems, so the unprotected shoulder of the tower had to be raised, which does not add cadaver security, and it looks strange because of this. In view of the presence of the Leclerc tower, the tank has an automatic 22 shot loader, located in the tower niche. And in view of the presence of the Leopard-2 corps in the nose of the corps there is a supplementary ammunition, the one that most often served as the initiator of the most instantaneous detonations of the ammunition, which the German was famous for in the very first war. The “Frenchman” in the nose also has a supplemental drum on 18 shots, but he is somehow protected, the chances of a colorful fire attraction in the form of fire charges or detonation are lower. On domestic tanks, except for the T-14 and T-90M (CM), there is also a bow storage rack, but it is also not as ephemerally protected as the German cat rack. And it has long been the rule in local wars, where our military participated, not to fill this rack using only AZ / MH and a few extra shots (this is usually enough for a fight, or you can quickly replenish the BC). And, returning to EMBT, most likely, it will turn out to replenish the AZ only by turning the tower back (if something has not been changed there, but it seems that they have not changed anything). On the "Leopard-2" for this you need to turn the tower on board. However, nobody will do it anyway, for this you need to go out or at least hide somewhere - in a small forest, behind a hill or buildings.
The tank is said to be fully functional and has passed preliminary tests in France and Portugal (whatever French-German developers mean by that), as confirmation there are some shots with it in the field. On the other hand, the housing and the tower themselves did not change significantly, the only question is in their conjugation (electricians and electronics) through a rotating contact device and at the program level. From the possible advantages of EMBT, a more rational and better (presumably) protected Leclerc tower with AZ and a very decent SLA can be suggested, even if it’s much worse than the protected, but more reliable and well-developed Leopard chassis. This, of course, if you forget about the nasal styling, dubious protection and other "virtues" of the German Panzer. The hybrid mass is about 60 t, and this is more than the earlier and later versions of Leclerc (54-58 t) and the most common version of Leopard-2 - 2А4, but less than 2А5 / 2ХXUMX / 6XXXXXXXXXXX.
From the very show, various versions were expressed as to why it was necessary to exhibit this broncade. It was assumed that this is the very promised “answer to the Russians” on the Armata T-14. But the answer would have come out strongly so-so: from the change, as tankers say, "carts", the "Leclerc" will not improve so much to withstand the car of a completely different, revolutionary layout and a different technological level.
Even if you add an 140-mm gun there, once tested on the Leclerc (it’s not known if the Leopard’s case, which had an 140-mm gun with an alien tower, could hold the living thread, on the "native" towers at the time). Another version was that it was supposedly a replacement for "Leopards" proposed for European armies. The fact that this “peacetime tank” needs to be replaced, which looks great in parades and competitions but poorly fit for war, is no longer denied. Moreover, the modernization options being rolled out by KMW are already beginning to cease to interest customers.
So, the other day, for a long time thinking about how to modernize all their 36 (quite a normal fleet for a significant part of NATO armies, by the way) “Leopard-2А4NO” the Norwegians decided not to upgrade anything. The reason is: almost no sense from modernization even to the promising "Leopard-2A7V", but a lot of money is needed. After 2025, the Norwegians want to consider proposals for the purchase of new tanks, but only where will they get them? Neither the Americans nor the Europeans did not even plan new tanks before the 2030s. Will they buy from Russia? Or South Korea? Also unlikely.
The third version: this is supposedly a tank for Saudis who are disappointed with the Abrams of the M1A2S and their losses in Yemen. Although we should be disappointed with our heads and hands - in this case, T-14 would hardly have helped, and Abrams, against the background of everything else, showed itself relatively well. But at the same time, they say, the Saudis liked the emirate “Leclerc-Tropic” (differing from the original ones mainly in replacing the Hyperbar’s desert engines with German MV883 diesel engines), but they wanted a supposedly more reliable and simple chassis.
But this version also has nothing to do with reality, although one cannot, of course, exclude that all new and brilliant as forty to the nest being dragged towards themselves, Saudi princes and other flood shiikhs will not click emotionally with their fingers and will not require the manufacturer to sell such tanks to them , yes more.
The fourth, and undoubtedly the correct version is the following: it is just a demonstrator of technology, and, more precisely, the possibilities of the newly formed consortium KNDS to at least do something together. They have been developing this since the beginning of 2017, and this EMBT is an initiative project, without government funding. And, as KMW employees say, they will not produce this tank (they also add that "Leopard-2" is better, without specifying what it is better, although it is clear that "Leclerc" is better than this strange creation). At the same time, attempts to push this still-born monster for export to rich guys in burnous will not be refused.
Well, well, they created a “picture for the exhibition”, “a show-stopper”, mastered the means, showed that it seems that it is not for nothing that their pants are rubbed - then what? And then they will try to develop together the same “answer” to our T-14.
The program, however, is not shaky or shaky, and the dates are constantly shifting. For example, 19 June 2018, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Lyayen and her French counterpart Florence Parley signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the implementation of a joint program to develop a promising main tank Main Ground Combat System (MGCS). A similar memorandum was also signed on the future Next Generation Weapon System, NGWS combat aircraft (as part of the Future Combat Air System, FCAS). But the plane is not the topic of this article.
Under the MGCS program, it is planned to create a new main tank to replace the "Leopard-2" and "Leclerc". According to the document, the technology demonstration phase will be launched in 2019 year. They expect that tactical and technical requirements (TTT) for the tank will be formulated as much as the 2024 year. The layouts, accordingly, will appear no earlier than 2025-2026, then the running layouts, prototypes will appear. And this tank will be adopted as streamlined in the document, "in the middle of the 2030-x." Previously, the dates were called the following: 2028, then 2030. Now here's the 2035, and there, probably, before the 2040 is within reach.
The program will be led by the German side (which already infuriates the French). What will be the layout of the tank, it is not clear to the developers themselves, but various sources report that it is very likely to have a low-profile turret with rendered armament (something like the Rebel in Soviet obs.) With the crew below, under the turret, or uninhabited fighting compartment and crew in a separate reserved control compartment ("capsule"), that is, the layout is about. 490 (T-195) or vol. 95 (T-148) Armata.
At one time, all of these layout options were considered by the French, even when they were developing Leclerc, but took the conservative path, realizing that they would not pull the revolutionary layout. We tried something similar in Germany. But in the USSR, having tried different variations of the classic layout, we realized that it had exhausted itself, and eventually came first to different variations of Kharkiv facilities (477 / 477А, 477А1, etc.), where the separation of the crew from the ammunition and armament had not yet been reached completely, then to Leningrad about. 299, which was never built as a whole sample, and to Nizhny Tagil about. 195 and now - about. 148 (T-14), combining the "modular ideas" of developers about. 299, and layout about. 195.
Will the French with the Germans be able to give birth to a rival today through 15 for years (I emphasize) Armata? Theoretically yes. And theoretically, not shaky or shaky will be able to produce it. The price tag of the product, of course, will not be comparable with the prices of vol. 148 / 149 in the currently ordered party for military trials (as you know, a set of essentially a heavy tank regiment of three battalions of tanks and TBMP was ordered), and even more so with the prices in this series. Rather, even the Japanese would envy this price tag, making the “cheap” 6-ton low-armored “Type-44” samovar with 10 tempos, just 12 million for a tank. But for this you need to create it. And there are many pitfalls, including one of the main joint development. The French and West Germans have already tried to create a joint tank, and the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany — and all these consortia and alliances were quickly forgotten, like a bad dream. Let us recall at least MBT-70 (in Germany, KPz-70) and subsequent events, which, after many years, led to the creation of Abrams and Leopard-2. Ambitions, dragging the blankets and pushing problems onto the co-developer, different levels of competence, different visions of problems and their solutions are the very "minefields" on the way of joint programs that are much worse than the mythical battalions of Russian hackers using the Internet to smear door handles with poisoned buckwheat.
The fact that the Americans to the middle of 30-x "give birth" to a new tank, you can believe. But the Germans and the French, most likely, in 5-8 years, they will understand that “we are strangers to each other, and we need to be friends” and will go on developing tanks separately. Although, on the other hand, separately, they will do it even longer, and it is not known whether the development will be crowned with success, which, of course, will keep some ambitions in check.
But it is too early for Russia to look at these attempts closely, and there is no time: for the time being, it is necessary to bring the “Armat” to mass production. The process is proceeding successfully, albeit more slowly than planned, and the tank will undoubtedly soon be brought to a successful completion of state and military tests and acceptance into service and mass production. “Armata” due to its design and layout has a huge modernization potential. The modular structure allows you to quickly change the booking and even the armament on the already released tanks. So let's see who wins!