At the Eurosatory arms fair in Paris, Rheinmetall presented the successor to the Leopard 2 main battle tank. According to the company, it is a “radically new tank concept”. The name of the tank evokes memories of the darkest times in German history.
The German armaments group Rheinmetall presented its new main battle tank on Monday at the large arms fair Eurosatory in Paris. The new tank is intended to replace the Leopard 2 and bears the name Panther – not an unencumbered name in German military history.
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Because once before a German tank was called Panther – it was the so-called Panzerkampfwagen V Panther in World War II. The Panther was developed by the MAN company at the time and was a reaction to the Soviet T-34 main battle tank. From 1943 to the end of the war, around 6,000 vehicles in various designs were built by several manufacturers and used both on the Eastern Front and in the West.
According to Rheinmetall, the new Panther is equipped with a new 130 mm gun and will have “optimized sensor-gunner connections”. Digital systems should help to keep an overview on the battlefield. Although the “Panther” is very similar in appearance to the Leopard 2, the company says it is a “radically new tank concept that is not constrained by yesterday’s technology.”
Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger said during the tank’s presentation in Paris:
“It is the first main battle tank that was developed entirely by Rheinmetall.”
According to Papperger, the tank is a “game changer” on the future battlefield. This is designed to be easily updated and equipped with the latest capabilities and features. While the new tank will have a classic frame, in the future it could also get “unmanned turret options” and feature “man-machine teamwork,” the company says.
Rheinmetall went on to say:
“The Panther is designed to control assigned unmanned aerial vehicles such as onboard or offboard drones, loitering munitions and a range of unmanned ground vehicles.”
The tank is expected to be ready for production within 30 months when the company starts taking the first orders, Papperger told journalists.
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