France and Germany Are Close to Agreement for the ‘Tank of the Future’ Program
PARIS, (BM) – France and Germany may soon come to an agreement on a joint program for a promising tank, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, according of La Tribune report.
Major military industrial corporations Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Nexter and Rheinmetall lobby for the project.
Berlin and Paris are trying to come to an agreement that should launch the MGCS “tank of the future” project, planned to be built jointly by the two states. At present, the German Bundestag (parliament) remains the main obstacle to launching the program, which should approve the deal.
The MGCS (Main Ground Combat System) project – the “main ground combat system” – is designed to replace both the German Leopard-2 tanks and the French AMX-56 Leclerc. In many ways, this program represents a profound modernization of the Leopard 2.
There are several reasons for disagreement between countries. In particular, this is the percentage of production that each of the participants will take upon itself, and the contradictions that arose earlier regarding the export of technologies to countries at war. Germany’s policy on the latter issue is significantly tough on the position of official Paris, and friction in this area has already frozen French supplies to the Middle East: thanks to European integration, many weapons systems manufactured by France are of German origin.
An important step towards the emergence of a new tank is the agreement, which should soon be concluded between the three contractors of the project, and which is a delicate compromise between the requirements of all interested parties. France requires saving 50% of the workload on MGCS, including design. In order to achieve uniform distribution between manufacturers in different countries, it is assumed that the project will be divided into smaller lots: in this way the parties will achieve parity. The industrialists, who are most interested in the early launch of the project, managed to formulate an agreement that takes into account all interests, and now it has been transferred to the defense ministries of the two states. It is expected that in the near future it will be signed.
It is worth noting that the main problem for the launch of the MGCS project was the internal disagreement between German industrialists. Previously, the program was blocked by the Bundestag due to disagreement of participants in the distribution of their shares. Initially, the Franco-German agreements proposed to divide the construction in the ratio of 50% for Nexter, 25% for Krauss-Maffei and 25% Rheinmetall. However, disagreements arose between German manufacturers due to the fact that each of them was interested in playing a more significant role.
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