KMW takes a step ahead of Rheinmetall by drawing the Leopard 2A8 for the Bundeswehr

The German Krauss-Maffei Wegmann takes a considerable lead over Rheinmetall with the order of 18 new tanks Leopard 2A8 for the Bundeswehr, just days after the new model was unveiled.

The mid-generation tank war will take place, it seems, but everything indicates that it will be German-German. While announcements follow one another on the subject of combat tanks in recent weeks, the article published today by the specialist site esut.de, could have the effect of a bomb, and this, on several levels.

According to the article on this reputedly serious site, the 18 battle tanks whose acquisition was announced by the Bundeswehr a few days ago would not be in the A7V version as initially claimed, but in a new version designated A8, which would be based on the version Leopard 2A7HU acquired by Hungary in 2020.

Above all, the site specifies that Krauss-Maffei Wegmann would also be engaged in the development of new versions of its tank, the A8 representing only a short-term stage in this process.

Le Leopard 2A8 represents the first major evolution of the KMW jewel in almost 15 years, when the A7 version was unveiled, and notably the first time since the end of deliveries of Leopard 2 German in 1992, that the Bundeswehr will receive new tanks.

The armored vehicle takes up many characteristics of the A7HU, specifically in terms of armor and motorization, and also natively integrates the EuroTrophy active protection system, developed and sold by a joint venture bringing together the Israeli Rafael, designer of the Trophy, the American General Dynamics Land System as well as the German KMW, according to a model which recalls that which gave birth to the Eurospike company. The turret is also protected against cluster munitions, as is the case with the Puma or the Pzh2000.

An order of 18 Leopard 2A8 for the Bundeswehr
Le Leopard 2A8 will natively integrate the Eurotrophy active protection system, as shown here on a Leopard X

The new tank's optronics and vetronics have also been significantly modernized, for example the fusion of video and infrared channels available to the entire crew, allowing them to have a much better perception of the environment in which they are moving. .

In addition, an auxiliary unit with a power of 20 kWh would have been installed, allowing all the systems of the armored vehicle to operate, even with the engine switched off. On the other hand, the armament of the tank did not seem to have evolved in this version, the main gun remaining the 120 mm/L55A1 from Rheinmetall, while no system for dropping drones, prowling ammunition or anti-missile missiles tank or anti-aircraft has been installed.

More surprisingly, no small caliber autonomous turret was mounted on the tank, to ensure close protection, particularly against lurking munitions, but also to engage infantry, as is the case for example with the EMBT. But it is likely that these capabilities will arrive later. Indeed, according to esut.de, the Leopard 2A8 would only be a stepping stone in the development of Leopard 2AX, which should be available within two or three years…


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17 Comments

    • Don't you have the feeling that in France, we often tend to blame others for our own failure? Australia, Switzerland, United States, Germany…it's always someone else's fault. This is not only often quite inaccurate, but above all it is perfectly useless. What's the use of blaming this sir over whom we have no hold?

    • The interest is explained in the article: having an offer immediately available to respond to K2 and KF51. It is in fact a very relevant calculation on the part of KMW, which is also observed in other countries such as Turkey, but which the in does not know how to do in France (see the article on the management of the BITD). On the contrary, it would have been absurd for KMW to deprive itself of it simply to respect the ambitions of a program at a standstill...

  1. That's what I wanted to say: buying only 18 new generation tanks has almost no military or strategic interest.
    The German government invites its army to play the role of tester and demonstrator to facilitate sales to the expert and facilitate the financing of the industrialist and the German defense effort
    I understood that this is what you were suggesting; this is what was done by the French Navy for the Adroit
    Indeed, we should do this in particular to help with the distribution of materials financed with our own funds by our own manufacturers;..

  2. That the LPM ignores the subject is perhaps quite reasonable. Basically, whatever the outcome of the war in Ukraine, we already know that Russia will be permanently weakened and “cured” of its external adventurism. The thousands of battle tanks of Poland, and of all those other states that are trying to strengthen themselves now, will therefore be useless. It seems to me that our credits, not so numerous and already largely trimmed by inflation and the need to improve training and the availability of equipment, are better directed towards other capacities.

    There remains the other question, the industrial question, but which is quite different. How can we, the French, take advantage of this enthusiasm for the tank among others to occupy and strengthen our industry? Or how at least to maintain our industrial tool and our R&D skills?

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