The decision comes amid tensions from the “Ukrainian crisis” where the number of Leopard 2A6 tanks 225/7 that the Bundeswehr (German military) aims to maintain operational would become suddenly inadequate. The German Army just received its first Leopard 2A7’s and they’re already off and running for a new MBT (main battle tank).
The new Tank will be a Leopard 3 and will be designed from the ground up and will not be a modification of a Leopard 2. Upgrading old tanks is fairly routine and accounts for the dangers of the present. Developing a new advanced tank, instead, is a bet on the future. In August, German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), makers of the current versions of the Leopard tank, merged with French defense company Nexter. Speaking to the merger, KMW CEO mentioned the idea of a Leopard 3 tank, noting that France has a strategic perspective that stretches decades into the future.
There are few details at present about what, exactly, the Leopard 3 program will entail, and what improvements it will have over previous generations of tank design. As Russia’s currency crumbles and the war in Ukraine drags on inconclusively, the urgency behind the new request for a tank may fade.
Cold War 2.0
A report released in November 2014 highlighted the fact that close military encounters between Russia and the west (mainly NATO countries) had jumped to Cold War levels, with 40 dangerous or sensitive incidents recorded in the eight months alone, including an alleged near-collision between a Russian reconnaissance plane and a passenger plane taking off from Denmark in March 2014 with 132 passengers on board. The 2014 unprecedented increase in Russian air force and naval activity in the Baltic region prompted NATO to step up its long-standing rotation of military jets in Lithuania.
Nuclear Weapons in both USA and Russia are beyond START treaty levels
The US government’s October 2014 report claimed that Russia had 1,643 nuclear missiles ready to launch (an increase from 1,537 in 2011) – one more than the US, thus overtaking the US for the first time since 2000; both countries’ deployed capacity being in violation of the 2010 New START treaty that sets a cap of 1,550 nuclear warheads
SOURCES : defense-blog, Wikipedia, popular science