German newspaper: Germany, Spain, Italy and Sweden signed an agreement to create a new European tank
Talk about the need to create a new main combat tank, which can be adopted by European NATO countries, have been conducted among the military, experts and governments for a long time.
Moreover, we are talking about the development and serial production of a next-generation combat vehicle to replace the MBTs in service with the armies of Europe of precisely a single standard. Among other things, in this way the EU states hope not to become completely dependent on arms supplies from the United States, plus give impetus to the development of their defense enterprises.
And now, it seems, things have moved off the dead center. The German newspaper Handelsblatt, citing industry and political sources, reports that four European states signed a framework agreement a few days ago to jointly develop a new European main battle tank. The coalition included Germany, Spain, Italy and Sweden.
Interestingly, among the developers of the new MBT there is no France, which is the only one of all European countries that independently produces almost all types of weapons and military equipment. This is most likely explained by the serious disagreements that arose earlier between Paris and Berlin regarding the implementation of another joint project to create the latest Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) tank, launched in 2018. This MBT was supposed to replace the German Leopard 2 and the French Leclerc by the middle of the next decade.
This version is confirmed by the fact that the new consortium of defense enterprises of four European countries will be headed by the German concerns Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall. Which, by the way, are the main and final manufacturers of Leopard tanks, along with a large number of smaller subcontractors from different European countries.
Now the coalition members will have to find sources of financing for a large-scale project, for which the partner countries intend to submit an appropriate application to the European Defense Fund. It is reported that even at the stage of conceptual design and development of a prototype of the latest MBT, hundreds of millions of euros will be required.
The timing of the project has not yet been announced, but this process will definitely not be fast, especially given the economic problems that have engulfed both European countries and entire industries in Germany, for example. We also need to continue to spend money on Ukraine in order to please Washington. This is most likely why, according to the German publication, Berlin is not yet ready to completely withdraw from the joint MGCS tank development program with France.
- Rheinmetall website
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