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Germany, France to Jointly Develop Leopard 3 Main BattleTank 26051502.

| 2015
Defence & Security News - Germany / France
Germany, France to Jointly Develop Leopard 3 Main BattleTank
According to Deutsche Welle German radio, Germany and France are considering cooperation on developing a successor to the tank Leopard 2. The current model has been in service since 1979, and aging Bundeswehr equipment is currently in stark focus. The German Defense Ministry announced its plans for the "Leo 3" (as it's likely to be nicknamed in Germany) in a report on Friday, May 22, to the German Bundestag, which was obtained by multiple media outlets.
Germany, France to Jointly Develop Leopard 3 Main BattleTankGerman-made Leopard 2A7 main battle tank

"Technologies and concepts will be investigated between 2015 and 2018 in joint studies also involving German industry," Markus Grübel, a deputy minister in the German Defense Ministry told his parliamentary colleagues. He cited the Leopard 2's long years of service as the reason that a new battle tank was required.

The Leopard 2's 50-year service life is set to expire in 2030. The tank, which came into service in 1979, was conceived as part of a plan for Cold War-era land defense. Germany commissioned more than 2,000 of them at the peak of the arms race of the early 1980s. Currently, however, only about 240 are in active service; but last month, citing the security situation in Ukraine, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen annnounced plans to reactivate 100 mothballed Leopard 2 tanks. In November of last year, von der Leyen also announced a move to add more than 100 additional "Boxer" armored personnel carriers to the Bundeswehr's ranks.

The Defense Ministry is in the process of drawing up a new "white paper" listing Germany's security policies and goals for the present day.

The manufacturer of the current Leopard 2, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, is scheduled to fuse with French firm Nexter Systems in the course of this year. This has prompted media reports in Germany saying that the new Franco-German firm, with more than 6,000 staff and a combined turnover of around 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion), could be a strong candidate to win the contract to develop a new battle tank for the German Bundeswehr.
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