Industry Signs Letter of Intent for Main Ground Combat System

Industry Signs Letter of Intent for Main Ground Combat System

At the international defense exhibition Eurosatory 2024, the managing directors of the companies KNDS Deutschland, KNDS France, Rheinmetall Landsysteme and Thales signed a letter of intent to establish a project company for the targeted implementation of development work on the German-French armaments project “Main Ground Combat System” (MGCS).

This was based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed in April of this year by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and his French counterpart Sébastien Lecornu, which agreed on the German-French cooperation on the future land combat system for the armed forces.

In April agreement between France and Germany

Germany and France are determined to further advance the MGCS project. By signing the letter of intent at the Defense Ministry in Paris, Pistorius and Lecornu reaffirmed the will of both countries to jointly develop the land combat system of the future. The Memorandum of Understanding defined the distribution of industrial responsibilities between France and Germany. It was agreed that both countries will participate as equal partners in the armaments cooperation, each contributing 50 percent of the costs, and the respective national industries will be considered with corresponding work shares.[1]

“In the distribution of tasks for the MGCS project, we are following the structure of FCAS (Future Combat Air System) in a mirror image,” said Minister Pistorius in the joint statement. While France is taking the lead role for FCAS, Germany will take the lead role for MGCS.[1]

While the development now seems to be finally gaining momentum, the omens are not good. After all, the German Defense Ministry had already decided in 2014 to replace the Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2 with a modern weapon system. Today, 10 years later, they have not progressed beyond a basic letter of intent. Whether a first type of the MGCS can actually be put into service by 2035 remains questionable. Perhaps the “Zeitenwende” and the looming war between NATO and Russia will help accelerate progress.

Sources: KNDS, BMVg

Photo: © KNDS