The Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) is a project by France and Germany started in 2012, aiming to replace their currently in-service Leclerc and Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBTs).
The MGCS is to be built by KMW+Nexter Defense Systems (KNDS) and Rheinmetall. Initial fielding is expected in 2035, with full operational capability (FOC) by 2040.
The ongoing Technology Demonstrator Phase (TDP) consists of two activities running parallel to one another.
The first element of the TDP is focused on researching and evaluating key technologies and components for their suitability for MGCS. These include propulsion systems, passive and active protection systems, weapons (including future weapons technologies), sensors, and vetronics. Each of these technologies is being investigated separately at this time.
Simultaneously, other teams are pursuing a multi-part System Architecture Definition Study (SADS), assessing aspects as: technical feasibility within the projected timeframe allotted for the programme; ability to fulfil the operational needs of both armies; efficiency and compatibility with national networked command and control systems.
The follow-on architecture studies are currently evaluating the operational utility of various comprehensive platform concepts using digital simulation scenarios of varying intensity.
SADS is expected to wrap up in late-2023 and lead to a definitive proposal for the common multi-platform architecture.