German military hardware maker Rheinmetall has recently unveiled a new Main Battle Tank (MBT) which is described as “a new tank for a new era.” Called KF51 Panther, it is designed for the battlefields of the future that draws on some of the latest technologies.
Rocking a low profile stance, the KF51 Panther was designed from the ground up to deliver the highest lethality on the battlefield with an integrated survivability concept, and connected by a fully digitized NGVA data backbone to enable next-generation operational capabilities and automation said Rheinmetall.
This means a reduction in crew size, which will pave way for unmanned turret options and “Human-Machine Teaming.” The prototype MBT is armed with a Future Gun System (FGS) that comprises a 130 mm smoothbore gun and a fully automatic ammunition handling system that can hold up to 20 ready rounds.
The main armament can accept both kinetic energy (KE) rounds as well as programmable airburst ammunition and corresponding practice rounds. Also on board is a 12.7 mm coaxial machine gun. The tank also presents several options for the integration of remotely controlled weapon stations (RCWS).
With respect to survivability, it is the first MBT to adopt “an integrated survivability concept of on and off-platform sensors coupled with active, reactive and passive protection, and a dedicated top attack protection system.”
The tank is designed for a crew of three and has a combat weight of under 50 tonnes and a range of over 500 kilometers (310+ miles).
The Rheinmetall Panther KF51 Main Battle Tank was presented at the Eurosatory 2022 (June 13-17, 2022) in Paris.
Images: Rheinmetall Defence.