Defining battlefield superiority: KNDS presents groundbreaking technologies in future land warfare

PARIS/BERLIN. KNDS, one of the leading manufacturers of military land systems in Europe, continues to expand its technological leadership in main battle tank development. At Eurosatory 2024, the Franco-German group will be presenting a number of crucial innovations for land warfare in the coming years.

Anticipating the future

Beyond the latest evolutionary stages of the existing main battle tank generations – Leopard 2 A8 and Leclerc XLR – visitors can expect a milestone in the history of main battle tank development with the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 and the Leclerc Evolution. The Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 has an unmanned, remote-controlled turret. The main weapon is loaded by a modular, automatic linear loader and calibres between 120 and 140mm can be selected. Its innovative weapon mount prevents the weapon from being immersed in the hull, thus resulting in fundamentally new use of space in the chassis. The crew of three to four persons can now be positioned completely in the chassis, within a highly protected crew cell. The ballistic protection is supplemented by a proven active protection system and a remote-controlled weapon station to counter drone threats.

The KDNS flag between those of France and Germany

LEOPARD 2 A-RC 3.0 and the Leclerc Evolution: 2 solutions to consider the threats on the future battlefield

The fire power of the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 is augmented by a guided missile system with which targets beyond line of sight can also be engaged while on the move. The remote-controlled 30mm weapon system completes the threat-adapted weapon mix with its ability for deployment against near-field and aerial threats. The design of the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 hugely improves crew protection through the use of passive, reactive and active protection technologies, thus increasing its sustainability, while at the same time significantly enhancing the mobility and assertiveness of the overall system. KNDS assesses the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 not only as a bridge solution until introduction of the next-generation land combat system MGCS, but also as a decisive technological precursor to MGCS.

Despite its groundbreaking innovations, the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 is fully backwards compatible. Any Leopard 2 variant currently in service can be upgraded to the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 equipment status. The modular approach enables solutions that are oriented to the individual needs of the customer.

ASCALON©: an improved and innovative fire function

With ASCALON©, KNDS has developed a main gun for battle tanks that is more powerful than all comparable barrel weapons. It can fire compact and programmable ammunition beyond the line of sight with minimal wear. Due to its scalability, ASCALON© can be fitted with any barrel from 120 to 140mm. The innovative concept, while proposing significant growth potential, delivers performance levels that current technologies do not offer. KNDS designed ASCALON© with an open architecture to serve as a basis for cooperative development of a combat gun platform within the framework of the MGCS program, laying the foundations for the future standard of European tank guns and ammunition.

The Leclerc Evolution on display at Eurosatory is equipped with a manned turret hosting a 120mm ASCALON© gun which can be easily retrofitted to higher calibers up to 140mm. Introducing a new concept with four crew members that is adapted to the latest tactical situations, the Leclerc Evolution integrates a deputy commander crew station fitted in the chassis to manage an extensive sensors and effectors suite.

Anticipating on MGCS, KNDS is also presenting the EMBT with the ASCALON© Demonstrator Turret ADT 140, a remotely operated turret equipped with a 140mm ASCALON© gun.

The KNDS portfolio on display over 3600 square meters

KNDS currently has around 800 weapon systems in Ukrainian front operations or under contract for delivery to Ukraine. The company is thus one of the world’s most important industrial supporters of Ukraine against the Russian aggression. The KNDS presence at Eurosatory 2024 therefore also includes combat-proven systems such as the CAESAR artillery system presented for the first time in its Mk II variant with a more powerful engine, an enhanced protection and a SCORPION-ready cab. The exhibited KNDS portfolio on 3,600 square metres of exhibition space is rounded off by vehicles covering the entire range of applications of wheel and track, guns and weapon systems in the medium calibre range, ammunition, innovative robotics, combat drones from the LARINAE and COLIBRI programmes, as well as the full spectrum of associated services.

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