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Overcoming Challenges: Advancing the MGCs Future Main Battle Tank

Written by Federico Cafarella

Edited by Miguel Andres Reyes Castro and Michele Puggia

Supervised by Paul Dybjer

On 10  July of this year, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius and his French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu met in Berlin to discuss the advancement of the long-planned MGCS (Main Ground Combat System) project. The two ministers reinforced the willingness of their respective governments to push forward with the joint procurement of a new generation tank capable of integrating the technologies and characteristics needed on the battlefield of the future, drawing from the lessons of the ongoing Ukrainian war (“Berlin and Paris vow to press ahead with long-delayed joint tank venture”, (Siebold & Irish, 2023). The cooperation between the two countries on the MGCS tanks was part of a larger package of joint procurements agreed upon between Macron and Merkel’s administrations in January 2019. It included a fighter jet (FCAS), an armed drone, artillery systems and a maritime reconnaissance aircraft (Seliger, 2019).

The new generation tank would completely overhaul the features of today’s most common European Main Battle Tanks (MBT), such as the Leopard. It would be extensively integrated with AI technologies to assist with aiming techniques and situation awareness. The barrel gun will be enlarged to 130mm or 140mm from the current 120mm standard, granting superiority to any Russian MBT, both in terms of range and power. Secondary weapons, such as the machine gun turret, would be rendered automated and possibly autonomous.