EMBT Showcased at Eurosatory 2018

Date: Issue 84 - August 2018

On June 11, 2018 France’s Nexter and Germany’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann unexpectedly unveiled a new Euro Main Battle Tank (EMBT) concept at the Eurosatory 2018 Fair; this was their first attempt at combining national technologies to develop a next-generation pan-European tank.

The EMBT was developed by KNDS, a joint company between German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and French company Nexter – and combines a Leopard 2A7 chassis with a Leclerc 120mm turret operated by only 2 crew members instead of 3 thanks to the autoloader.

The development effort for the EMBT has been ongoing since January 2017, with the prototype platform conducting live fire trials only a month ago. “This is the first step in having a common product from Nexter and KMW,” said Sebastian BENT, Project Manager for EMBT for KMW. “This is a demonstrator, but the next step will be to have a prototype or pre-series production” he added.

Since the Leclerc features a lighter autoloading turret, compared with the manually loaded Leopard 2A7, the EMBT is lighter and has a growth potential of around 6t (10% of the EMBT’s 60t GVW). This effort has been funded by KNDS and is not a German or French Government program. Work done on the demonstrator is expected to provide information regarding technology and cooperation requirements for a future MBT that will enter service in the 2030s.

The German and French Governments are currently studying a new joint MBT under a program known as the Mobile Ground Combat System (MGCS).

For the EMBT, one of the main challenges has been to integrate the electronic and mechanical interfaces between the turret and chassis. The chassis is based on the latest A7 variant of the Leopard 2, with mobility trials also completed with the Leclerc turret integrated.