The Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has awarded Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) a contract for the production of 18 new type LEOPARD 2 A8 battle tanks. The contract was signed by both parties in Koblenz. Delivery of the systems is scheduled to begin in 2025. The new LEOPARD 2 A8s will replace the German tank force’s vehicles, which were recently handed over to Ukraine as part of military support operations.
The framework agreement concluded on May 25, 2023 also includes options for the production of a further 105 LEOPARD 2 A8s and a comprehensive service package.
In addition KMW has also been commissioned to produce twelve new PzH 2000 for the German artillery force as part of the option agreement made in March 2023. In total, the option includes 18 PzH 2000 type howitzers in three lots of six systems.
The leading European robotics and autonomous systems developer, Milrem Robotics, and the German defence company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) have signed a contract to deliver 14 THeMIS Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to Ukraine.
Of the 14 vehicles, seven will be configured for CASualty EVACuation (CASEVAC) and are scheduled to be delivered by the end of this year. The other seven, to be delivered in the second quarter of 2023, will be configured for route clearance with payloads from the French defence manufacturer CNIM Systèmes Industriels.
The effort is being funded by the German Ministry of Defence.
«Casualty evacuation and route clearance are two labour-intensive activities that require the engagement of several people who remain in constant threat of enemy fire. Automating these tasks with unmanned vehicles alleviates that danger and allows more soldiers to stay in a safe area or be tasked for more important activities», explained Captain (res) Jüri Pajuste, Defence R&D Director at Milrem Robotics.
Milrem Robotics delivered one CASEVAC THeMIS to a Ukrainian charitable organization earlier this year that has proven to be a valuable asset.
«The deployment of the THEMIS UGV to Ukraine means that the Ukrainian forces can increase the safety of their soldiers and let the UGVs handle tasks that are an immediate threat to humans. That is the ultimate purpose of robotic systems. Milrem Robotics is proud to be able to contribute to Ukraine’s fight against the aggressor», said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.
«This important project gives evidence of our common ability to provide advanced technology to Ukraine. We are determined to support Ukraine with protective and lifesaving equipment. The fast delivery of 14 THeMIS UGVs proves that KMW and Milrem are partners you can rely on», said Ralf Ketzel, CEO of KMW.
THeMIS is a multi-mission unmanned ground vehicle with an open architecture that enables it to be rapidly configured from having a transport function to being weaponized, performing ordnance disposal or supporting intelligence operations according to the nature of the mission.
The THeMIS UGV is already part of different programs in 16 countries, including eight NATO members: Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK, and the US.
Rheinmetall is taking on an important role in the modernization of the Hungarian Army. The Düsseldorf-based Group is producing the main armament and fire control technology for forty-four Leopard 2 main battle tanks as well as the main armament, fire control technology and chassis for twenty-four PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers. The package also encompasses thirteen HX and TGS logistic trucks. The contract, worth around €300 million, was recently signed. Delivery begins in 2021 and will be completed in 2025.
Rheinmetall has partnered with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) to carry out the project. In December 2018 KMW won an order from the Hungarian armed forces for forty-four new Leopard 2A7+ tanks and 24 new PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers. This will make Hungary the 19th Leopard 2 user nation and the eighth nation to opt for the PzH2000.
As well as having design authority, Rheinmetall is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the 120-mm smoothbore technology used in all versions of the Leopard 2 tank.
The same is true of the 155-mm L52 main gun of the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer.
Tried and tested around the globe, the Group’s 120-mm smoothbore gun and ammunition have been continuously perfected right from the start. The higher-pressure 120mm L55A1 gun earmarked for the Leopard 2A7+ was successfully qualified at the end of 2017, and already supplied and installed for two Leopard 2 user nations in mid 2018. Moreover, the L55A1 tank gun is capable of firing the programmable DM11 multipurpose round.
In addition, Rheinmetall possesses comprehensive expertise in the field of tracked armoured vehicles, including as an OEM. The Group developed the chassis of the PzH self-propelled howitzer.
NATO and EU member state Hungary is modernizing its land forces and seeking a European alliance for its equipment.
As part of this modernization process, Hungary signed a contract for the procurement of 44 new Leopard 2 A7+ main battle tanks and 24 new PzH 2000 howitzers with German defense technology company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) on December 19th, 2018.
In addition, Hungary is procuring 12 used Leopard 2 A4 main battle tanks from KMW’s inventories for training purposes. The project represents a further step toward greater interoperability between European armed forces. Hungarian Defense Minister Tibor Benkő emphasized that the contract would strengthen the smooth and extensive cooperation between the German and the Hungarian Armies.
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, a member of the German-French defense technology group KNDS, leads the European market for highly protected wheeled and tracked vehicles. At locations in Germany, Brazil, Greece, Mexico, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the USA more than 4,000 employees develop, manufacture and support a product portfolio ranging from air-transportable, highly protected wheeled vehicles (MUNGO, AMPV, DINGO, GFF4 and BOXER) through reconnaissance, anti-aircraft and artillery systems (FENNEK, GEPARD, Remote Controlled Howitzer 155, Armoured Howitzer PzH2000, DONAR and AGM) to main battle tanks (LEOPARD 1 and 2), infantry fighting vehicles (PUMA) and bridgelaying systems. In addition, KMW has wide-ranging system competence in the area of civil and military simulation, as well as in command and information systems and remote-controlled weapon stations with reconnaissance and observation equipment. The armed forces of more than 50 nations worldwide rely on tactical systems by KMW.
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Nexter welcome the announcement by the French and the German governments on the joint development of a new Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) and a new Common Indirect Fire System (CIFS). The Letter Of Intent (LOI) signed on June 19, 2018, is a significant step forward in the defense cooperation between the two countries and in Europe. This close cooperation was the key motivation for the foundation of KNDS in 2015, where Nexter and KMW cooperate as national system houses for land systems.
MGCS will develop a new generation of Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), providing their users enhanced, innovative, and best-in-class systems with the most advanced technologies. Thus, Germany and France are jointly launching the most strategic project in European land defense for the 30 years to come, a program package that will shape the future of European armies’ main combat capabilities and contribute to Europe’s sovereignty and strategic autonomy.
The skills and background of KMW and Nexter qualify both companies as suitable and particularly powerful and pivotal industrial partners for the Franco-German landsystem-program MGCS. Thus, in close cooperation with leading technology companies, KMW and Nexter will substantially contribute to a strengthened European defense capability.
The agreement of both nations to capitalize on the success of the German and French MBT programs and to base the industrial leadership for the MGCS program in Germany demonstrates the strong commitment towards a unique European cooperation in land systems. Beyond that, it strengthens Europe’s excellence in providing leading edge land-systems-technologies for the years to come.