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At Eurosatory 2024 in Paris, the future of armored warfare is on full display as leading defense manufacturers unveil cutting-edge tank designs with advanced features and capabilities. Highlighted below are the significant innovations presented by KNDS and Rheinmetall, showcasing the next generation of main battle tanks (MBTs) set to redefine the battlefield.

KNDS: Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0

KNDS has introduced the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0, a remarkable evolution of the Leopard series, featuring a 10% weight reduction and a revolutionary moveable main gun design. Key features of the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 include:

  • Remote-Controlled Turret: Equipped with a modular automatic loading system, the turret’s remote-control functionality enhances operational flexibility and crew safety.
  • Configurable Main Gun Caliber: The main gun can be configured between 120mm and 140mm, offering adaptable firepower for various combat scenarios.
  • Space Optimization: The design allows for a fully enclosed and secure crew compartment for 3-4 personnel by freeing up space within the chassis.
  • Enhanced Ballistic Protection: Combined with a proven active protection system, the tank offers superior defense against a range of threats.
  • Remote Weapon Station: Ensures defense against drone threats and provides additional close-range firepower.
  • Guided Missile System: Capable of engaging beyond-line-of-sight targets while mobile.
  • 30mm Remote Weapon System: Effective for close-range and aerial threats, enhancing the tank’s versatility.

Rheinmetall: Panther KF51

Rheinmetall has revealed a groundbreaking unmanned turret concept for the Panther KF51, equipped with a powerful 130mm main gun and 25 ready rounds. The turret features include:

  • Future Gun System: The turret can be fitted with either a 130mm future gun system or Rheinmetall’s 120mm smoothbore cannon, both supported by a 25-round autoloader.
  • Advanced Automation: The unmanned design reduces crew risk and increases operational efficiency.

KNDS France: Leclerc Evolution

KNDS France has showcased the Leclerc Evolution tank, designed with a 120mm Ascalon gun capable of firing 140mm munitions and achieving an energy impact of at least 10 megajoules. Notable features of the Leclerc Evolution include:

  • 4-Crew MBT Configuration: Equipped with a manned turret hosting the 120mm Ascalon gun, which can be easily upgraded to a 140mm caliber.
  • Deputy Commander Station: Integrated into the chassis to manage an extensive suite of sensors and effectors, including the ARX 30 Remote-Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS).
  • Secondary Weapon System: The ARX 30 is designed for counter-UAV warfare, complemented by a loitering ammunition launcher for extended-range capabilities.

KNDS EMBT ADT-140: A Glimpse into the Future

Under development, the KNDS EMBT ADT-140 is a technology demonstrator that will showcase the firepower and modularity of its 140mm ASCALON cannon. This initiative is aimed at future-proofing the tank with advanced features such as sensor fusion, integral hemispheric active protection, AI, and hybrid energy applications. A demonstration of firing-on-the-move capabilities from a remotely operated turret is scheduled for 2025.