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.