Various information from public organizations and environments has made it clear that the Spanish Army (ET) is in favor of maintaining its main battle tank capacity. With the 108 Leopard 2 A4 received from Germany, he was supposed to use his barge to advance towards specialized versions such as Sappers, Recovery or Bridge Launchers, a project that was currently parked for lack of money.
What does not appear to be parked, as recently confirmed, is the will to undertake the mid-life modernization of the Spanish-made Leopardo, a model that we can define as the 2A5 +. Improvements like the introduction of the BMS (Battle Management System) or new ammunition will certainly soon be followed by others that could include a remote controlled self-defense tower, a state-of-the-art active defense system, or an armament concept with more networks. consistent with operation in urbanized environments.
In either case, the prediction would be that it could stay active until the second half of the next decade. In this historic setting, the Army’s largest armaments program, the 8X8 Dragon, should already have been completed and the proposed renovation could begin. It has been approved by the European Union with programs including EDIDP to invest 7,000 million euros between 2021 and 2027 in the development of European weapons systems, involving consortia of 3 different companies from 3 different countries.
The Germans and French are approaching their future main battle tank, and Italy and Poland have been positioned as possible allies for a similar development with Spain. Europe cannot afford to develop solutions like the parallel development of the future 6th generation fighter-bombers, FCAS and Tempest, if it is to work towards credible economic and industrial defense. You need to make clear and specific decisions and avoid them.
With that in mind, and as representatives from General Dynamics European Land Systems / Santa Barbara Sistemas noted in a recent armaments seminar, the company would be able to participate in the development of a new concept that would be beneficial for Europe. A new family of combat vehicles and battle tanks could be developed on the same railway platform that would benefit from novel aspects related to digitalization, automation or electrification. What the barge is and many of the systems and subsystems will have something in common.
We are talking about a MMBT (Medium Main Battle Tank) that should not exceed fifty tons so as not to negatively affect the difficulty of moving by train or by road from one point to another in Europe. It would be a solution that other companies in the sector could be involved in, and that would deal with a new generation VCI (Combat Vehicle) – it could be an evolution of the Pizarro / ASCOD – and a medium battle tank weapon that even contains weapons could be directional energy cannons or electromagnetic energy – within a global concept of a system of systems that would imply deriving the financial resources for a single weapon. This capability could be of great interest to the Army as future scenarios may require more advanced and trained means to overcome the threats that may arise. The idea of this MMBT can be a very effective solution for Spain and for Europe. (Octavio Dec Cmara)
Photo: Army’s leopards need a modernization process in the middle of their useful life that will allow them to keep them operational until the second half of the next decade (Octavio Dez Cmara).
Several countries, like the United States with its unborn MCS, have already considered developing a family of chain armor that can evolve to suit different needs. (GDLS)
The current ASCODs, a derivative of the Pizarro, could be the starting point for obtaining a particularly powerful and technologically advanced media tank for the ET and other countries. (GDLS)
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