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Discover EMBT future concept of Enhanced Main Battle Tank jointly developed by France and Germany

Analysis of new Generation MBT (Main Battle Tank) in 2022, Part 1. German company KMW (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann) and French company NEXTER Defense Systems under KNDS unveils, the EMBT (Enhanced Main Battle Tank), a new concept and demonstrator of MBT at Eurosatory 2022, International Defense Exhibition that was held in Paris, France in June 2022.
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Krauss-Maffei Wegmann from Germany and Nexter Systems from France unveil EMBT Enhanced Main Battle Tank. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The EMBT (Enhanced Main Battle Tank) presented at Eurosatory 2022 is a new very unique experimental platform, featuring a 4 men's crew concept including 2 men turret and 2 men chassis, equipped with an evolutionary turret armed with a 120mm cannon coupled to new generation ammunition (Shard) and a completely new and reconfigurable MMI (Man/Machine Interface). This allows dynamic task allocation and testing of “innovative crew concepts” with a variable number of crew stations including the presence of a System Operator: as a response to the cognitive workload of the tank commander, it enables to leverage of the full potential of an extensive sensors and effectors suite while progress is being made on AI (Artificial Intelligence) technologies.

The EMBT MBT is based on tracked chassis of the German Leopard 2 tank fitted with a modified French Leclerc MBT turret. The demonstrator is based on a new design concept with two-man seated at the front of the hull including a driver and a system operator that operates new weapon systems mounted on the new MBT. The turret is armed with a 120mm L52 smoothbore gun able to fire all the standard 120mm NATO ammunition. The turret has a crew of two including commander and gunner thanks to the use of 22 rounds automatic loading system. A 12.7mm coaxial machine gun is mounted to the left of the main armament.

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The EMBT is fitted with a two-man turret armed with one 120mm that can be evolved into a 140mm cannon. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The turret of the EMBT MBT is designed to evolve to the future of the main armament by presenting the new ASCALON gun and ammunition concept. This innovative concept, while proposing significant growth potential, delivers performance levels that current technologies do not offer. Taking advantage of its long experience with the 120mm smoothbore gun, its mastery of compact ammunition as well as of the maturity achieved during firing campaigns with a 140mm caliber, KNDS designed ASCALON with an open architecture to serve as a basis for cooperative development within the framework of the Franco-German MGCS program, laying the foundations for the future standard of European tank gun and ammunition.

The ASCALON for “Autoloaded and SCALable Outperforming guN” is a new generation of 140mm tank gun designed to reach Technology Readiness Level 6 by 2025 to facilitate its proposal as the main weapon system for the Franco-German Main Combat Ground System (MCGS) program, which will develop a next-generation main battle tank and supporting vehicles for the French and German armed forces.

The turret of the EMBT MBT is fitted with a new generation of passive and active armor and also integrates Israeli TROPHY APS (Active Protection System) and E-LAWS LWS (Laser Warning System) developed by the Israeli company Elbit Systems. The Trophy creates a neutralization bubble around the tank. It rapidly detects, classifies and engages all known chemical energy (CE) threats – including recoilless rifles, ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missiles), AT (Anti-Tank) rockets, HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) tank rounds, and RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenades. Elbit Systems’ Laser Warning System (E-LAWS) and Threat Detection System (TDS) detect, categorize and pinpoint laser sources such as rangefinders, designators, beam riders, infrared illuminators, and trainers. In addition to laser sources, the Multi-Threat Detection System (MTDS) detects, categorizes and pinpoints radar/RF sources. All of these systems allow for training within the vehicle and include built-in tests.

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The roof of the turret is fitted with a remotely operated weapon station ARX30 armed with a 30mm automatic cannon. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The turret of the EMBT MBT is also equipped with one RWS (Remote Weapon Station) armed with one 7.62mm machine mounted at the front left side of the turret which is coaxially connected to the commander's sight. At the rear of the turret is mounted an RCWS (Remotely Controlled Weapon Station) Nexter ARX30 armed with a 30mm automatic cannon that can be used as an anti-aircraft weapon station and to counter UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) attacks. The sides of the turret are also equipped with the 80mm GALIX launcher designed by the French company Lacroix. The GALIX system it is capable of hiding the tank from an approaching threat and protecting the tank.

The EMBT MBT also includes a modern power pack with digital control allowing drive-by-wire, which is a prerequisite for remoted automated driving operations and manned/unmanned teaming. In standard configuration, the tank is also equipped with a Pilar V Acoustic Gunshot Detector designed by the French company Metravib. PILAR V is a fully passive device providing real-time threat detection, identification, and localization. This efficient protection drastically increases the survivability of the vehicle and its crew. Information is provided to the BMS, RWS fire control unit, or to a specific PILAR display unit.

The EMBT MBT is powered by a German MTU 883 EPP engine developing 1,500 hp. It can run at a maximum road speed of 65 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 460 km. The tank has a combat weight of 61.5 tons, a length of 10.45 m, a width of 3.85 m, and a height of 3.24 m.

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The EMBT has a very unique design with a crew of four including two men in the turret and two men seated at the front of the hull. (Picture source Army Recognition)

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