KF51 Panther MBT Rheinmetall

Main Battle Tank - Germany

KF51 Panther MBT Main Battle Tank Rheinmetall Germany 925 001

Description

The KF51 also nicknamed Panther is the latest generation of Main Battle Tank designed and developed by the German company Rheinmetall. Citing information from Rheinmetall engineers, the KF51 Panther is destined to be a game changer on the battlefields of the future. It represents the new concept of the main battle tank in terms of lethality, protection, reconnaissance, networking, and mobility. The new KF51 Panther was unveiled for the first time to the public in June 2022 during Eurosatory, an international defense exhibition that was held in Paris, France. The tank integrates new combat technologies and innovations. It is a truly software-defined tank fully enabled to collect and disseminate information on the multi-domain battlefield. Deep integration of modern BMS (Battle Management System) and software-defined communication systems enables forces to operate in collaborative combat environments such as cross-platform sensor-to-shooter links. The tank also integrates unmanned aerial vehicles such as on-board or off-board drones, loitering ammunition, and a range of uncrewed ground vehicles. In developing the KF51, Rheinmetall not only set out to modernize existing main battle tank concepts. Starting from scratch, it completely reconceived the platform. The KF51 Panther can be easily updated and equipped with the latest capabilities and functions. Its advanced, modular, open NGVA (NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture) system architecture enables iterative development, which can then be updated in harmony with innovation cycles. The fully digitized NGVA architecture allows for seamless sensor and effectors integration both within the platform and cross-platform. Sensor and weapon control assignments can be passed between crew members instantly. Each workstation can hand over and take over tasks and roles from others with no reduction of functionality. The KF51 is the first representative of a new generation of combat vehicles. Soon, future innovations will enable environmentally friendly peacetime operations and further optimization regarding automation and combat effectiveness. On March 4, 2023, the German newspaper website "Spiegel" published that the German company Rheinmetall is negotiating the construction of a tank factory in Ukraine with an investment of €200 million to build the new KF51 Panther Main Battle Tank (MBT). On December 15, 2023, Hungary officially signed a contract with Rheinmetall to collaborate on the development of the next-generation KF51 Panther Main Battle Tank (MBT). This collaboration, valued at approximately €288 million, was officially signed in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary, marking a significant step forward in the project's progression towards full-scale production.

KF51 Panther MBT tank variants:

- No variants at this time. 


Technical Data

Armament
The KF51 Panther is fitted with a 130mm Rheinmetall Future Gun System (FGS) that consists of of a 130 mm smoothbore gun and a fully automatic ammunition handling system with 20 ready-to-fire ammunition in two separate loading magazines each containing 10 rounds. Thanks to the automatic loading systems two shots can be fired in less than 3 seconds. Compared to current 120 mm systems, the FGS delivers over fifty percent greater effectiveness at significantly longer ranges of engagement. The FGS can fire kinetic energy (KE) rounds as well as programmable airburst ammunition and corresponding practice rounds. The second armament includes one 12.7 mm coaxial machine mounted to the right of the main armament. In option, the roof of the turret can be also equipped with remotely controlled weapon stations (RCWS) to offer flexibility for proximity and drone defense. During Eurosatory, the KF51 Panther was equipped with Rheinmetall's new "Natter" RCWS armed with one 7.62 machine gun mounted at the rear of the turret roof as well as a UVision weapon station armed with four ready-to-fire HERO 120 loitering munitions enhancing the KF51's ability to strike targets beyond the direct line of sight. The turret has a traverse of 360° with an elevation from -9° to +20°.
KF51 Panther line drawing
Design and protection
The KF51 Panther seems to have a standard design for a modern MBT (Main Battle Tank) but it features many new and modern technologies. Indeed, the KF51 has a crew of three, but if necessary a fourth crew member can board the vehicle as Specialist Crew Station Operator. Two crew members are located at the front of the hull, with one dedicated to the driver and an optional station dedicated to a company commander, a drone operator, or a wingman pilot while the commander and gunner are in the turret. The KF51 Panther has a fully integrated, comprehensive, weight-optimized protection concept, incorporating active, reactive, and passive protection technologies. Without a doubt, the concept's most compelling feature is its active protection against KE threats. It increases the level of protection without compromising the weight of the system. To increase its protection, the KF51 Panther is also fitted with the Rheinmetall Top Attack Protection System (TAPS) wards off threats from above, while the fast-acting Rosy smoke/obscurant system conceals the KF51 from enemy observation. Moreover, its digital NGVA architecture enables the integration of additional sensors for detecting launch signatures. Thanks to its pre-shot detection capability, the KF51 Panther can recognize and neutralize threats at an early stage. The standout survivability feature is undoubtedly the active KE protection, which increases protection levels without affecting the system weight. As a system designed to operate in a contested electromagnetic spectrum, the Panther is fully cyber-hardened.
KF51 Panther line drawing 002
Mobility
The KF51 Panther was built on the basis of the mobility concept of the Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank. It has an operational weight of just 59 tons and delivers far greater mobility than current other similar combat vehicles. It is powered by an MTU MB 873 Ka-501 V-12 water-cooled Diesel engine developing 1,103 kW at 2,600 rpm coupled to a Renk HSWL 354 transmission located at the rear of the hull. The tank can reach a top road speed of 70 km/h in forward and 30 km/h in reverse. The torsion bar suspension on each side consists of seven road wheels with the drive sprocket at the rear and the idler at the front. The upper part of the suspension is protected by armor plates. The KF51 can negotiate a slope of 60% and a side slope of 30%. It can cross a trench with a length of up to 2.5 m and climb a vertical obstacle of 1.1 m maximum. The tank can ford hard bottom water crossing up to 1.2 m without preparation.
KF51 Panther MBT Main Battle Tank Rheinmetall Germany details 925 001
Combat Equipment
The standard equipment of the KF51 Panther includes a panoramic SEOSS (Stabilized Electro-Optical Sensor System) optical sensor and EMES main combat aiming device, the commander and gunner are both able to observe and engage targets independently of each other, both day and night, while a stabilized daylight and IR (Infra-Red) optic with integrated laser rangefinder is available to both. In addition, via a display in the fighting compartment, the crew has a 360°, round-the-clock view of the vehicle's surroundings. Integrated, unmanned aerial reconnaissance systems enhance the crew's situational awareness in built-up areas and in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle. With these, the crew can also conduct reconnaissance under armor protection and share the results with other actors in a networked manner. The tank is also equipped with 6 cameras mounted all around the turret linked to the screens of the commander and gunner offering 360° situational awareness while remaining under armor protection and providing technical information of all sensors such as the commander sight and the gunner sight systems. The driver also has vision outside of the tank thanks to 4 camera modules enabling 360° vision.
The KF51 Panther is a truly software-defined tank fully enabled to collect and disseminate information on the multi-domain battlefield. Deep integration of modern BMS and software-defined communication systems enables forces to operate in collaborative combat environments such as cross-platform sensor-to-shooter links. The tank is designed to control assigned unmanned aerial vehicles such as on-board or off-board drones, loitering ammunition, and a range of uncrewed ground vehicles. The fully digitized system and common crew stations are the enablers for true Human-Machine Teaming and control of wingman UGVs that cover capabilities such as platoon-level air and drone defense.
KF51 Panther MBT Main Battle Tank Rheinmetall Germany details 925 002

Specifications

Armament Armor
One 130mm cannon, one 12.7mm coaxial machine gun, one remotely operated weapon station armed with one 7.62mm machine gun, and one launcher station with four loitering munitions;  The KF51 Panther has a fully integrated, comprehensive, weight-optimized protection concept, incorporating active, reactive, and passive protection technologies.
Country users Weight
Not yet in service 59,000 kg
Designer Country Speed
Germany 70 km/h
Combat Equipment Range
Panoramic sight systems for gunner and commander, NBC protection system, night vision, 360° cameras, laser range finder, battle management system 500 km
Crew Dimensions n(Hull)
2 + 2 Length: 7.8 m; Width: 3.7 m; Height: 2.5 m

Details View

KF51 Panther MBT Main Battle Tank Rheinmetall Germany line drawing 925 001
   
KF51 Panther MBT Main Battle Tank Rheinmetall Germany front view 001 KF51 Panther MBT Main Battle Tank Rheinmetall Germany rear view 001
   
KF51 Panther MBT Main Battle Tank Rheinmetall Germany left side view 001 KF51 Panther MBT Main Battle Tank Rheinmetall Germany right side view 001

Pictures - Video