Germany plans to update their Main Battle Tank (MBT), the Leopard 2, less than three weeks after the Russians debuted their new Armata tanks. The Germans will be conducting joint capability studies with France, set to run through 2018, before deciding on a design.
During the Cold War, the former West Germany bought 2,125 new Leopard 2s. As part of post-Cold War defense cuts, most of the tanks were sold back to the original manufacturers. Four years ago, the German Defense Ministry decided to cut its total from 350 to 225.
Now, Flosdorff said a decision has been made to raise that number to 328. Of that total, 320 will be made ready for battle; the other eight will be used for demonstrations.
The US doesn’t currently have a new MBT planned; the upgraded M1A3 model of the Abrams tank, originally slated to be combat-ready by 2017, has been pushed back, with research and development now set to start sometime in the 2020
SOURCES – Defence News, Vice, Financial Post