Main Ground Combat System

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Main Ground Combat System
TypeMain battle tank
Place of originGermany/France
Production history
DesignerKMW+Nexter Defense Systems
ManufacturerKMW+Nexter Defense Systems Rheinmetall

ArmorComposite armour
Rheinmetall Rh-130 L / 51[citation needed] tank gun
EngineMTU MT883 Ka-500/501 27.4-litre[citation needed]
1,500 hp/1,630 hp at 2700 rpm
TransmissionRenk HSWL 295TM[citation needed]
SuspensionTorsion-bar[citation needed]

Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) (also called Leopard 3)[1] is a project by France and Germany since 2012 to replace their currently deployed AMX Leclerc and Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBTs).[2][3][4] In 2016, the program was in the concept phase which was projected to be completed by 2017.[5]

A precondition for the new tank is the development of a new main cannon with better performance. German defence company Rheinmetall joined the program and will develop a new cannon Rheinmetall Rh-130 L / 51 with better performance than the Rheinmetall L/55 cannon which was introduced on the Leopard 2A6.[5] Rheinmetall demonstrated a 130mm L51 at Eurosatory military trade fair in 2016.[6]

The first step in the MGCS program was a Franco-German technology demonstrator, to show that the two countries could jointly develop a next generation tank.[7] At Eurosatory fair in June 2018 in Paris, France, KMW+Nexter Defense Systems (KNDS) unveiled the "European Main Battle Tank" (EMBT), a technology demonstrator main battle tank that combines the hull of a Leopard 2A7 with the lighter, two-man turret of a Leclerc.[8]

Deployment of the new tank is scheduled for 2035.[9]

European Main Battle Tank[edit]

The European Main Battle Tank or Enhanced Main Battle Tank (EMBT)[10], first unveiled by KMW+Nexter Defense Systems at Eurosatory military trade fair, June 11-15 2018 in Paris, France[8], is a main battle tank demonstrator which combines the hull of a Leopard 2A7 with the lighter, two-man turret of a Leclerc.


Photomontage of a Leclerc turret on a Leopard 2A7 chassis.

The hull, engine and entire chassis of a Leopard 2A7, which can carry 68 tons, were modified to host the lighter, more compact, autoloader equipped turret of the Leclerc.[11]

According to Nexter’s head of tracked and armor programs, Francois Groshany, the benefit of the tank is the combination of the "very high capability" Leopard 2 chassis with the lighter Leclerc turret.[12] The 2-man Leclerc turret is approximately 6 tons lighter than the 3-man Leopard 2 turret. The lower weight of the vehicle enables it to traverse bridges that might not be able to support heavier tanks.[13]


The French media has reported Italian and Polish ministry of defence voiced its interest in joining the project and hoped to see its inclusion in the EU's PESCO program and other forms of EU defence funding.[14][15] But in January 4, 2020 Poland was excluded from MGCS.[16] On January 20, 2020 the Polish government announced negotiation partnership with Hyundai Rotem to license production K2 Black Panther tanks in Poland from 2023. [17] [18]

The Spanish Army announced its interest in replacing its fleet of Leopard 2E MBTs with the MGCS once available.[19]

See also[edit]

Tanks of comparable role, performance and era[edit]


  1. ^ Pike, John. "Leopard 3". Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Design concepts emerge for possible new French–German Main Ground Combat System - Jane's 360". Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Europe creates its supertank - The Siver Week". Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Majumdar, Dave (18 February 2016). "Get Ready, Russia: This European Power Has Plans For a Lethal New Tank". Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Rheinmetall Ups Tank Firepower with new 130mm Gun - Defense Update:". 14 June 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  7. ^ "France and Germany: on the right tank tracks?". IISS. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  8. ^ a b Peck, Michael (4 July 2018). "European Main Battle Tank: France and Germany's New Joint Super Weapon?". The National Interest. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Frahan, Alain Henry de. "Eurosatory 2018: KNDS presents the Enhanced Main Battle Tank - Eurosatory 2018 Official News Online - Defence security military exhibition 2018 daily news category". Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  11. ^ GUILLEMIN, Matthias. "NEXTER Group - KNDS presents its first joint product exclusively at Eurosatory". Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  12. ^ Martin, Sebastian Sprenger, Jeff (11 June 2018). "French and German armor makers test the waters with a 'Euro-tank'". Defense News.
  13. ^ "Eurosatory 2018: KNDS presents joint Franco-German tank demonstrator - Jane's 360". Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^, Revista Defensa (2019-09-05). "El Ejército español apuesta por el futuro carro de combate europeo - Noticias Infodefensa España". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2019-09-11.