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Gerhard Heiming

Germany’s Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Utilisation of the German Armed Forces (BAAINBw) has awarded an industrial contract for work on the “System Architecture Definition Study – Part 1” (SADS Part 1), as part of the first industrial study for the land combat system of the future. This contract was awarded on behalf of Germany and France, who intend to replace their LEOPARD 2 and LECLERC Main Battle Tanks with a combat system for land forces in a joint project from 2035. The deal covers several companies including Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG (KMW) and Rheinmetall AG from Germany and Nexter Systems of France.

The aim of the €15m study is to harmonise the final MGCS concepts of the previous bilateral study phase, analyse further details and propose a common multi-platform architecture. The three contractual partners will assess several aspects of different concepts:

  • technical feasibility in the projected timeframe allotted for the programme
  • ability to fulfil the operational needs of both armies
  • efficiency and compatibility with the respective national command and control system networks (SCORPION in France and D-LBO in Germany).

Work shares in this SADS Part 1 study are to be distributed equally between Germany and France on a fifty-fifty basis with the first phase of architecture work expected to last 18 months. Germany, as the lead nation for the MGCS, has established a joint German-French project team under German leadership in the BAAINBw.

Next generation system

The SADS Part 1 study fits into the Technology Demonstration Phase (TDP), which is to be completed by 2024. A budget of €370.5m has been earmarked for this, which will be followed by the overall system demonstrator phase (GSDP) where the entire system will be built in hardware and tested for performance with a budget for this, and other R&D activities, of €375.8m. From 2028, the realisation phase will begin with the production of the first MGCS units for integrated performance verification and acceptance testing. After approval for service use and declaration of troop usability, series production will begin with the first systems to be delivered in 2035 and initial operational capability with the new land combat system from 2040.