MGCS | Hensoldt’s “Game Changer” proposal for the European battle tank – VIDEO 

Defence Redefined
Published on 12/02/2021 at 20:35

Hensoldt submitted its proposal for the joint Franco-German development program concerning the new Main Ground Combat System (MGCS).  

Hensoldt core business includes sensor and optronics technologies in the field of defence, security and aerospace. 

The MGCS or EMBT (European Main Battle Tank) program is a joint venture between Germany and France to replace the Leopard-2 and Leclerc tanks.

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The proposal presented by Hensoldt concerns the electronics and various sensors for the MGCS which, in combination with the radars developed by the company, compose a reliable target tracking system. An additional benchmark for tactical battlefield awareness is the intelligence gathering from network-based platforms such as the EuroAvionics drone VADR (a subsidiary of Hensoldt).

Through this intelligence fusion, the combat vehicle crews will be able to collect and analyze heterogeneous information, resulting in a unified and reliable tactical picture of the theatre of operations, in a 360-degree virtual environment. The data collected could also help in navigating the combat vehicle -usingthe SETAS system-, without the need of a GPS.

In addition, according to Hensoldt, the multi-purpose jammers and missile, radar and laser warning systems installed in the vehicle, can help increase the crew’s survivability. 

The proposal also includes use of artificial intelligence (AI) which will give the crews not only the ability to analyze, but also to choose a specific course of action / usage of the vehicle.

The Franco-German tank program is based on five main areas: 


  1. Operational needs analysis
  2. Concept survey
  3. Development and technological capability
  4. Integration and system demonstration
  5. System production

So far, the program has completed the first two phases. France and Germany equally share the program (50% each). The Franco-German tank program started in 2012, but to date there is no clear picture of the technical characteristics of the new tanks. 

In any case, the new tanks that will be developed under the MGCS program will be upgraded in all areas, always in relation to the current Leopard-2 and Leclerc.

The study of system architecture definitions is part of the third phase (development and demonstration of technological capability), which will be completed by 2024 and will precede the General System Demonstration Phase (GSDP) by 2028.

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The development of new vehicles and systems is scheduled for 2035, with full operational capacity to be achieved by 2040.

According to the Franco-German State Research Institute of Saint-Louis (ISL) -which also supports the whole program- the MGCS will lead to a future combat system that may include unmanned vehicles, including autonomous ground and aerial vehicles. 

Therefore, the goal of the MGCS program is to produce a means of providing a set of capabilities currently provided by the main tanks, but not necessarily a typical “single platform”. The program, in addition to the development of a new tank, also provides for the development of new tactical and cooperative combat capabilities.

French media reported that the Italian, British and Polish Ministries of Defence had expressed interest in participating in the project and hoped that it would be included in the EU PESCO program and other forms of funding. The Spanish army also showed interest in replacing the Leopard 2E.

We remind you that the whole program will involve leading companies of the defence industry, such as Nexter, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall, but also the Greek company EODH. The Greek company will assist in the development of the whole “package” of active and passive protection of the future European tank.

Also read: 

Κύριο σύστημα μάχης εδάφους (MGCS) με συμμετοχή ελληνικής εταιρείας







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