EMBT (Enhanced Main Battle Tank)
The June 2022 return of the world exhibition dedicated to land armaments Eurosatory 2022, 4 years after the last edition in 2018, was an opportunity for Rheinmetall and the KNDS group of Nexter and Krauss Maffei Wegman to engage in a duel, each presenting a new generation tank demonstrator, the new KF51 Panther for Rheinmetall, and a new version of the EMBT for KNDS.
At Eurosatory 2018, the French-German KNDS group (KMW + NEXTER Defense Systems exhibited its first joint product, the EMBT (Enhanced Main Battle Tank), less than three years after being created around KMW and Nexter. The EMBT revealed in Paris is based on the combination of a Leopard 2A7 chassis and the turret of the Leclerc. The European Main Battle Tank could fill a product gap as European and other tank operators seek to modernise their fleets before the expected arrival in the mid-2030s of the Franco-German main battle tank (MBT), part of the two countries’ Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) program.
In view of the presence of the Leclerc turret, the tank has an automatic 22 shot loader, located in the turret. And in view of the presence of the Leopard-2 hull, in the nose of the hull there is supplementary ammunition, the one that most often served as the initiator of the most instantaneous detonations of the ammunition, for which the Germans were famous for in the very first war. The “Frenchman” in the nose also has a supplemental drum on 18 shots, but as it is somehow protected, the chances of a colorful fire attraction in the form of fire charges or detonation are lower.
It is likely that the placement of ammunition in the hull, according to the experience of Syria, will be changed by placing shots in an isolated compartment. The space can be freed up by installing the MTU EuroPowerPack, freeing up 1 meter along the length.
Unlike the previous EMBT of 2018, the EMBT displayed in 2022 features a completely new purpose-built turret equipped with the Trophy APS, a remotely controlled 30mm autocannon, and a very hefty commander sight equipped with a 7.62mm MG. The shape of the new turret suggests that its armor is reduced compared to other MBTs. This is likely due to the Trophy APS being an integral part of the design. The main cannon is the CN120-26, the same cannon found on the Leclerc series, and is fed by a 22-round autoloader. The hull of the new behemoth is a largely unmodified Leopard 2A7 with only the front seeing improvements. The EMBT (2022) will be in direct competition with Rheinmetall's KF51 Panther.
The EMBT presented at Eurosatory 2022 represented a new experimental platform, featuring a 4 men crew concept (2 men turret, 2 men chassis) with an evolutionary 120mm turret coupled to a new generation ammunition (Shard) and a completely new and reconfigurable MMI. This allows dynamic task allocation and testing of “innovative crew concepts” with variable number of crew stations including the presence of a System Operator: as a response to the cognitive workload of the tank commander, it enables to leverage the full potential of an extensive sensors and effectors suite while progress is being made on AI technologies. The platform includes a modern power pack with digital control allowing drive-by-wire, which is a prerequisite for remoted automated driving operations and manned/unmanned teaming. The 30mm RCWS located on the turret introduces counter-UAV capability.
As a major player in the MGCS program, KNDS is also preparing the future of the main armament by presenting the new ASCALON gun and ammunition concept. This innovative concept, while proposing significant growth potential, delivers performance levels that current technologies do not offer. Taking advantage of its long experience with the 120mm smoothbore gun, its mastery of compact ammunition as well as of the maturity achieved during firing campaigns with a 140mm caliber, KNDS designed ASCALON with an open architecture to serve as a basis for cooperative development within the framework of the Franco-German MGCS program, laying the foundations for the future standard of European tank gun and ammunition.
The EMBT is ready for the future integration of ASCALON (140mm) and other turrets. EMBT is ready for the future integration of ASCALON (140mm) and other turrets,” said the KNDS advertising presentation during the exhibition. The 140mm ASCALON gun is a product of the French company Nexter. The cannon has some exceptional key advantages that may allow it to integrate into some combat ground platforms. For example, a 140mm ASCALON cannon can reduce recoil power due to its ability to reduce firing momentum. Also, in addition to being able to operate ammunition with a maximum length of 130 cm, the cannon has extended ammunition range taking advantage of the larger calibre. Penetrators of different lengths allow adaptation to the target spectrum. Guided ammunition allows engaging targets Beyond the Line of Sight and Non-Line of Sight. Experts say the cannon will have incredible power due to the internal pressure, which can range from 10 to 13 megajoules.
Last but not least, the entire ASCALON 140mm weapon system, in addition to controlling the firing pressure, has an integrated muzzle brake in a completely new design, which helps infantrymen in joint combat, especially if this battle is fought in a densely populated area or urban environment. . Although the cannon can be integrated into platforms below 50 tons, there is no danger of impairing the functionality and capabilities of the EMBT, as the tank weighs over 61 tons. The EMBT is 10.45 meters long, 3.85 meters wide and 3.24 meters high. It is powered by a German MTU 883 EPP engine, which guarantees a minimum of 1,500 horsepower for the tank at 1,100kW. The maximum speed at which the tank will move is 65 km / h and with refueling a tank will be able to travel 460 km.
|Ammunition||All standard NATO ammunition (Capable of firing SHARD APFSDS)|
|Turret armor||unknown, likely reduced relative to other MBTs due Trophy APS.|
|hull Armor||based on the Leopard 2A7 and likely features similar armor.|
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