European MGCS ( Main Ground Combat System)

GTX

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Putting this here for now but feel free to move:

Ground Combat System Agreement Signed
(Source: German Ministry of Defence; issued April 28, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

With the signing of two agreements, Germany and France have reached another milestone in the development of a new, innovative Main Ground Combat System (MGCS).

The Main Ground Combat System project, to be implemented under German leadership, is to replace the German Leopard 2 main battle tanks and the French Leclerc main battle tanks from the mid-2030s. With the project, Germany and France are sending an important signal for European defense cooperation.

Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and her French counterpart Florence Parly have signed a framework agreement that sets out project organization and management structures. Due to the corona situation, the ministers could not meet to sign together.

System architecture study

Both countries should benefit equally from the cooperation, which is why the contracts to be concluded are based on 50 percent financing between Germany and France. In addition, both nations should receive sufficient intellectual property rights for the future intended use of the work results.

The ministers therefore also signed an Implementing Arrangement 1, which forms the basis for the commissioning of a system architecture definition study.

The budget committee of the German Bundestag has only recently cleared the way for the commissioning of this two-year study. Here, too, Germany and France share the costs.

The system architecture is a prerequisite for the development of a technology demonstrator with which the German and French requirements for the MGCS Main Ground Combat System can be evaluated.

-ends-
 

Foo Fighter

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So, do they have a two man turret and autoloader , A three man turret with number three acting as controller/monitor for drones and companion vehicles with autoloader or a three man turret with manual loading? I seriously doubt they will have a bv so it cannot possibly be a good vehicle.
 

TomS

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So, do they have a two man turret and autoloader , A three man turret with number three acting as controller/monitor for drones and companion vehicles with autoloader or a three man turret with manual loading? I seriously doubt they will have a bv so it cannot possibly be a good vehicle.

Almost certainly an autoloader. The 130mm design they've shown is basically a 120mm case blown out to 130mm at the neck and stretched about 50%. That's too heavy to manhandle.
 

shin_getter

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Perhaps the thing to look at isn't bigger guns, but whether someone has figured out how to armor against modern 120mm projectiles without compromising too much on other desirable characteristics.
 

GARGEAN

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Perhaps the thing to look at isn't bigger guns, but whether someone has figured out how to armor against modern 120mm projectiles without compromising too much on other desirable characteristics.
Reduced to 3 man crew + autoloader will free ENORMOUS pile of weight that can be easily used for armor.
 

Foo Fighter

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While you are doing that which is fine in it's own right. You are failing to use the extra crew member to maintain command over the coop vehicles and drones they also want to use. That and the perennial problem of 24 hour watch and radio watch being crewed and vehicle maintenance, your crew fatigue level will be a monster. These clips are interesting if you need to understand the work load, pay note to the noise pitch and levels as this alone IS very wearing.
 

GARGEAN

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You are failing to use the extra crew member to maintain command over the coop vehicles and drones they also want to use.
Part of faulty logic that was born from years of COIN. Nothing demands those additional crew members being inside your tank and not in C&C vehicle few kilometers away. Nothing prevents you from pushing freed manpower into specialized repair&maintenance platoon if you are so concerned about maintenance, and they will do job BETTER because will be better trained and equipped than additional loader/"drone operator" in tank.
 

Foo Fighter

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OK, can you a, guarantee those specialised troops being trained and utilised in that manner and b, getting to those vehicles needing repair when they are needed. I believe the answer is no to both those points. The advantage of the operator remaining with the vehicle is that their operational awareness of the situation is better and the additional crew member is available for anciliary duties that will remain to be done. Just on exercise in BAOR the REME vehicles would frequently be unavailable. In an high energy combat scenario the situation would be worse rather than better. Faulty logic comes from not understanding the reality of the situation you want to be an expert in. How much time do you have in armoured vehicle use? Hands on?

BTW, another real life scenario. The loader operates the bv and feeds the crew when on long stretches being buttoned down and provides hot drinks for the crew during a passage to an operation start point etc etc etc.
 

stealthflanker

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So 130mm tank with human loader ? Or maybe 2 Loaders so there would be 2 men available for the drones and other needs. Tank could be back to WW II and 1950's 5 men crew.
 

Foo Fighter

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No need for five man crew. Autoloader and the fourth man deals with drones etc and maintains the crew nutritionally. It cannot be emphasised enough how much a meal and a hot drink can lift morale in high stress environments. Currently the loader also carries responsibility for the coms equipment.
 

GARGEAN

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There is flat out zero reason for drone operator to be inside tank per se. There is no need for dedicated crew member for servicing modern comms. And in the end you want to trade AT LEAST 10 tonnes (and ponentially much more) of weight, vehicle profile and safe maneuvering angles for hot drink?
 

Foo Fighter

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Very funny, I nearly fell off my chair at that. You want to cherry pick one item you do not like. Sorry if you cannot see it but it is not throwing away benefits for a hot drink. You still have not answered my questions about experience. Ready for that?
 

GARGEAN

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As I've said, I understand problem of letting go old myths, especially if they are supported by "experience" (even if that experience streams not from the point discussed tech was made to apply to). And you are quite a good example of that: being only on one position of quite wide question, you are focusing on points you think are important and dismissing points you think are not. Even despite real weight in real situation discussed tech should be applied to might be drastically different.

I am not trying to offend you or something btw. Really understand such PoV. That happens all the time after all, many people were arguing that Bradley is inferior to M113, that M1 is inferior to M60 ect. It's just sad that such misleading opinions sometimes stream themselves into real development process.
 

Foo Fighter

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Tech does not solve all issues/problems and btw, I am not taking any offence and hope I am not giving any, this is a place for discussion and I will defend your right to your opinions/beliefs whatever they are.
You believe in tech and I believe in my experience and what it leads me to believe. Where tech is better I have no problem with that but any fighting vehicle we have until the robots take over will need flesh and blood. That I'm afraid needs to be understood and its limitations catered for. It is my opinion that you are a thoroughly decent human being and it is a privilege to be here discussing these topics and technologies. You, Sir, stay well.
 

GARGEAN

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Was maybe misleading a bit, by "tech" I meant whole piece of equipment, be it APC/IFV/tank/whatever. And I perfectly understand your opinion streaming from your experience. And that was kinda my point: that was experience streaming from only one PoV and from limited to modern set of situations on field.
Tankers will want tank with 50m^2 internal space, crew enough to drop some modest party, place for grill and a beer keg. And all that all-round armored with biggest chance of survival possible. Maintenance crews will want something not heavier than Chevy and powered by simliest diesel possible, cooled by single rubberfan, with most complicated electronics being lightbulb in cabin. Generals want goldplated top-notch piece of tech, armored with dipolimer tungsten-titanium alloy all-around, armed with multipurpose cannon able to crack some in-mountain bunkers open and sunk modest battleship. Ministers want something looking fancy but consting not as much as "those warheads are out of their minds". In the end you can't please them all.
Tank is a set of compromises. Some weighting more, some less. I see why you value fourth crewmember so high. I, from my side, hope you understand my opinion: tank is not an army. It's not even a separate battle unit. It is part of military formation, and it does NOT need to do it all by itself. There is no need for each tank having perfect 24/7 360 degrees surv coverage. There is no need for each tank to have own UAV with dedicated crewmember to service it. There is no need for each tank to repair whatever happens with it in field only by forces of own crew. ALL those problems can be solved on formation level, and they will be solved BETTER that way. In the end it will allow tank to be smaller and lighter with same armor profile, or increase firepower and protection without weight increase, or whatever e;se one might want to do with weight freed. I just heartly believe that leaving fourth crewmember there for miniscule gains which are mostly applying to COIN (for which main line MBT should not be desighned) are not worth it.
 

Foo Fighter

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I'm afraid you are still missing the needs of the squidgy organic bits in the middle where the fourth crew member is invaluable but am going to leave this alone now. Have a great week.
 

MihoshiK

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I'm afraid you are still missing the needs of the squidgy organic bits in the middle where the fourth crew member is invaluable but am going to leave this alone now. Have a great week.
...The Russians disagree with you, and have for over sixty years.

What you should say is that the fourth crew member is invaluable in the current US military tank doctrine.

It would require a rework of how tanks and their logistics train are deployed for three men tanks to work for the USA.
 

Foo Fighter

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The Russians have a different doctrine and OOB. My interest is not US tank doctrine either so would not say that. Being British, I have experience of the UK and NATO doctrine and OOB.
 

stealthflanker

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this kind of reminds of an old discussion in tank-net.. we had tank vets as far as i remember Stefan Kotsch who had been in both 4 man and 3 man tank.. His opinions regarding crews are "it's a matter of faith"
 

bobbymike

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shin_getter

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What would the MGCV look like? too early to tell, but most likely, MGCS will be a family of heavy combat vehicles, that will provide the core of heavy, most lethal, and highly protected element, built to dominate any one-on-one direct effect engagement against peer opponent in a future battlespace. Most charts depict MGCS as a group of vehicles delivering a balanced ‘triangle’ – firepower, maneuver, and survivability.
Sounds like: We have no idea if we need this widget and what it'd be, but we have committed a 20 year jobs program nonetheless!
 

Moose

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It's just a number to indicate that they plan to continue working together after the vehicle enters production. In-service date is 15 years from today, which while slow isn't unreasonable. 5-ish years to study and narrow in on a concept, 5-ish years to turn that concept into a functional prototype, 5-ish years to transform that prototype into an in-service production tank. Sure, it would be great if they moved faster and it's not hard to point out all the reasons why. But that doesn't mean they're unserious.
 

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Firing trials of the 130mm on an...oh look at that a Chally II....;)
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8Sa_q-Lz6g

7t01Y5h.jpg
 

Grey Havoc

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jsport

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shin_getter

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Regarding the 130mm tank gun - a quite interesting summary by Rheinmetall why 130mm:
The two key parameters for effectiveness are the aforementioned energy that reaches the target, and the accuracy at a specific combat distance, the latter requirement for future MBTs being the double compared to current tanks, so it will be necessary to hit a target with utmost accuracy at 5 km distance. A nice challenge especially on moving targets, as the flight time will be nearly the double.
How often would 5km direct fire (anti-tank) engagements even happen and how efficient is it to do it with a gun (read: very high precision gun, powerful FCS and sensor system that doesn't use its full capacity 99% of the time). Germany doesn't exactly sit in a salt flat. It looks like development into less relevant niches while trading off capability against more common scenarios.
 

zen

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VL Brimstone would give a lot of potent firepower if...IF it can 'fired on the move'.
Rather as I've mused on a CAMM-SR (short range) for similar reasons.

While a Long Range Brimstone is another potent concept.
 

muttbutt

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Grey Havoc

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Something of a last ditch effort to have the MGS keep a 120mm gun?

EDIT: Sorry, MGCS.
 
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muttbutt

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Something of a last ditch effort to have the MGS keep a 120mm gun?
The 120mm guns are going to be in service for decades to come....so why not see what you can do to let them keep pace with coming threats, Armata and whatever the Chinese come up with after the Type 99
 

Grey Havoc

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Though they seem to be pitching it squarely at the MGCS program, whether in earnest or just to get some of the R&D funding is debatable of course.
 

TomS

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Though they seem to be pitching it squarely at the MGCS program, whether in earnest or just to get some of the R&D funding is debatable of course.

I think it may be a case of using the 120mm round to mature the propellant and penetrator technology that could then be applied to 130mm or 140mm guns for MGCS.
 

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