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Rheinmetall wants to deliver KF51 Panther main battle tanks to Ukraine.

| 2023

According to Larissa Holzki and Martin Murphy in the German newspaper Handelsblatt dated February 10, 2023, Rheinmetall wants to deliver its most modern main battle tank to the Ukrainian army, the KF51 Panther: "We are talking to Kyiv about exporting the Panther", CEO Armin Papperger told Handelsblatt. The country wants this state-of-the-art main battle tank and has also expressed interest in the new KF41 Lynx infantry fighting vehicle.
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Rheinmetall unveiled its KF51 Panther MBT at Eurosatory 2022 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Should such a sale take place with the German federal government's approval, Ukraine would then be the first customer for this new main battle tank unveiled last June at Eurosatory 2022 defense exhibition in Paris. Even if only a demonstration model of the Panther exists to date, Rheinmetall’s CEO Armin Papperger promises a delivery "in 15 to 18 months". The tanks could be produced in Germany or in Hungary.

The KF51 Panther features an innovative operating concept. It is basically designed for a three-person crew: the commander and gunner in the turret and the driver in the chassis, where an additional operator station is available for a weapons and subsystems specialist or for command personnel such as the company commander or battalion commander.

Designed in accordance with NGVA standards, the tank's fully digital architecture enables seamless integration of sensors and effectors both within the platform as well as into a networked "system of systems". The operation of sensors and weapons can be transferred instantly between crew members. Each operator station can take over the tasks and roles from others, while retaining full functionality. Since the turret and weapons can also be controlled from the operator stations in the chassis, variants of the KF51 Panther with unmanned turrets or completely remote-controlled vehicles are also planned in the future.

With its main armament, the 130mm Rheinmetall Future Gun System, the KF51 Panther offers superior firepower against all current and foreseeable mechanized targets. In addition, further armament options are available to provide concentrated firepower for long-range strikes and against multiple targets.

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