KNDS, Leonardo Cancel Battle Tank, IFV Partnership

Defense giants KNDS and Leonardo have abandoned talks for a potential partnership to develop and produce Leopard 2 A8 battle tanks and the Main Ground Combat System infantry fighting vehicle.

The companies announced the cancellation in separate statements, with KNDS CEO Frank Haun stating that the parties could not agree on Leopard 2’s standard configuration.

“With 18 European user countries, Leopard 2 is the battle tank standard of our continent and of NATO. It is more important than ever to safeguard this standard, which makes a significant contribution to the interoperability and joint combat power of the European and NATO armies,” Haun said.

The deal, announced in 2023, was created for a procurement program of the Italian Ministry of Defense.

“KNDS continues to be committed to support the Italian Army,” Haun continued.

Plausible contracts for the partnership were estimated to be worth around 50 billion euros ($54 billion).

The 2 A8 Variant

The 2 A8 is among the Leopard’s most advanced variants, fitted with Raphael’s Trophy active protection system and armor that can withstand cluster munitions.

Its main armaments include a 120 mm L55 smoothbore cannon capable of munition range extension, as well as an upgraded fire control system.

Countries eyeing the variant as part of their military modernization efforts include the Czech Republic, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

Each 2 A8 unit costs around 29 million euros ($31 million).

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