Germany revives Nazi-era tank brand — Analysis
New ‘Panther’ tank is destined to be “a game changer on the future battlefield,” according to its manufacturer
Rheinmetall, a German arm manufacturer, unveiled the new main battle tank during Monday’s major weapons fair in Paris. The vehicle comes under the ‘Panther’ nickname in an apparent nod to Nazi Germany’s iconic PzKpfw V medium tank.
This tank comes with a 130mm new gun, and it is being marketed as having “optimized sensor-to-shooter links,”Digital systems are heavily used to manage the battlefield. The Panther, while closely looking like the Leopard 2 family of main battle tanks, is actually quite different. “radically new” tank “concept not constrained by yesterday’s technology,”Rheinmetall persists.
“It is the first main battle tank entirely developed by Rheinmetall,” the company’s CEO, Armin Papperger, said during the unveiling ceremony, insisting the machine would become a “game changer on the future battlefield.”
“With the Panther, a completely new MBT concept is being brought to life: One that is not limited by considerations of current MBTs. It is designed from the ground up so that it can be easily updated and equipped with the latest capabilities and features,”The company stated.
Although the new tank has a traditional frame, it could get a futuristic one. “unmanned turret options,”As well as to excel “Human-Machine Teaming,”The company stated. “The Panther 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,”Rheinmetall
At Eurosatory, it was unclear whether the KF51 was an operational prototype, mockup or fully functioning. Papperger stated that the tank will be ready for serial production in 30 months. The company then plans to take its first orders.
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