MGCS: „Das Kampfpanzerprojekt ist nicht tot“
Verteidigungsminister Pistorius besucht Soldaten in Ulm Bild: Reuters
Germany and France disagreed on their joint defense project. However, since the war has returned to Europe, it has gained new urgency. After years of being blocked, it is now set to be implemented.
IA decision is looming in European defense cooperation. Next Friday, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) and his French counterpart Sébastien Lecornu plan to meet in Evreux, Normandy, at the base of the Franco-German air squadron to discuss the future of the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS), a symbolically significant project. Alongside the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), the MGCS is the largest endeavor on the list of defense projects agreed upon by Berlin and Paris in 2017. Starting in 2035, the MGCS is intended to replace the French „Leclerc“ tank and its German counterpart, the „Leopard 2,“ but it will be much more than a conventional vehicle, functioning as a highly advanced integrated system.
It is still uncertain whether the system will ever see the light of day. Due to a lack of political ambition and disagreement among the involved industry partners, there has been little progress in recent years. And although Pistorius and Lecornu had declared in July their intention to finally move forward, doubts are currently increasing once again. Paris no longer seems willing to let Berlin call the shots and wants to bring Italy into the project as a „last chance proposal,“ according to the French newspaper „La Tribune.“ The „Handelsblatt“ even claims to have learned that an alternative alliance has already been formed between companies from Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.