The joint ground combat system MGCS is to follow the Leopard and Leclerc tanks. In Normandy, Defense Minister Pistorius is pushing the project forward with his counterpart Lecornu.
Germany and France want to speed up the joint MGCS main battle tank project. “We want this project, we want this project to be a successful project,” said Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) at a meeting with his French counterpart Sébastien Lecornu at an air base in Normandy.
There the army chiefs of both countries signed a catalog of capability requirements for the tank of the future. “We have to determine what we want,” said Pistorius. Recently, progress on the project has been slow. Now it’s time to pick up the pace.
The Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) is intended to be the successor to both countries’ Leopard and Leclerc tanks and is expected to be operational over the next decade. Germany has the leading role in the project, said Pistorius. It will now be determined by December which parts of the tank system France or Germany will take the lead on.
As Lecornu said, the example is the German-French cooperation on the European air combat system FCAS, in which France has the leading role. After a long struggle, an agreement was reached on usage rights for this project.
Lecornu explained that the main battle tank project is about a modular system that, in addition to classic battles, should also enable electromagnetic fire, laser fire and fighting networked via artificial intelligence. This also includes the use of drones to protect the tanks. Both ministers emphasized that the German-French project was open to other partners, but within the jointly agreed framework. Italy and the Netherlands have expressed interest, says Pistorius.
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