Rheinmetall KF51 Panther

lantinian

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
521
Reaction score
67
FL4CO63XwAITKLV.jpg



That seems to have been an early peek into the KF-51 Panther, a 59 tons version of the KF-41 Lynx armed with 130 mm cannon aimed to replace the Leopard 2. The vehicle will be unveiled at Eurosatory 2022 on June 13th at 14:00 local time.
https://www.rheinmetall.com/en/rheinmetall_ag/press/news/latest_news/index_32576.php

2-format2020.jpg

It probably needs to be split into its own topic
 
Last edited:

Foo Fighter

I came, I saw, I drank some tea (and had a bun).
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
2,927
Reaction score
1,786
Can someone please tell me what the partial 'shroud' around the main armament barrel is and what it does?
 

shin_getter

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
710
Reaction score
807
EMBT/KF51
It seems like people are heading back toward T35 in the "do everything in one hull" vehicle design logic.

Loitering munitions with 60km range have no place on LOS combat vehicles: either you have datalinks to the (much cheaper for payload) rear line vehicles or you don't have datalinks to make use of organic loitering munitions. Loitering munitions is also far too slow to use in fast changing tactical situations, so delays from having to call rear support doesn't matter since one should use faster responding weapons if time on target is needed. (NLOS ATGM for example) If there is a drone, tethered/self recharging, observation drone with tight integration with FCS is more reasonable.

4 man crew also points to a lack of actual ambition in automation despite pitches.

One possible take of Ukraine conflict is that tanks are bait to force opponent to open fire with artillery and other long range strike weapons to allow counter battery: if that is remotely the case, cheap and protected tank is better than one with dozens of expensive systems onboard which gets really unhappy against MRSI air burst.

MMG or low velocity 30mm anti-drone RWS will offer some protection against slow loitering munition and bomber multicopters, but do little against observation. Now counter aerial observation is not an MBT role but just about necessary for MBT operations: forward air defense vehicles with mobility and good levels of protection to go with the tanks should be designed, and I believe more important to formation effectiveness than a new MBT. (that or huge airforce providing CAP...which can probably blow up all the big targets too)

The interesting thing to look at is the notion of anti-KE APS and anti-top attack APS. The thing is to look at is figuring out actual limits of practical systems instead of taking things at face value. (aka: we added bofors to the battleship, air attack is irrelevant now~)

From KMW - Tracked Boxer with 120mm gun and new EMBT demonstrator.

120/44 gun, anti-drone RWS, ATGMs AND 6 dismounts? This actually feels meme tier: lets throw everything and the kitchen sink.

Tracked Boxer as whole seems to have potential though.
 
Last edited:

Deino

Moderator
Staff member
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
3,149
Reaction score
1,636
Yes, the KF51 Panther is a different project. More of a new Export MBT.


But - maybe I'm awrong it is a similar albeit reversed situation to the Franco-German-Spanish Future Combat Air System (FCAS/SCAF/FSAC)?
The main contractor who built for decades one of the most potent MBT, namely the Leopard II is out and now in a joint consortium mostly politically formed to develop a new MBT ... and with Airbus-Germany a company that never built a modern combat type is keen - and most likely again due to political pressure - to step into a fighter project pushing the true specialist aside?! ;)
 

GTX

All hail the God of Frustration!!!
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
4,711
Reaction score
3,889
Website
beyondthesprues.com

Note the tease: The Panther is the first of a new MBT family. In the near future, there will be further innovations that support environmentally friendly peacetime operations and further optimisation in terms of automation and effectiveness.
 

isayyo2

Lurker alert
Joined
Nov 24, 2011
Messages
740
Reaction score
1,100
Can someone please tell me what the partial 'shroud' around the main armament barrel is and what it does?
It could be for blocking the hotter part of the main gun barrel from both the tank own and enemy thermal vision systems
No doubt similar reasons to the XM360, thermal management and environmental protection of the barrel.

XM360.png

XM360-1.png
 

TomS

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
5,751
Reaction score
4,061
Loitering munitions with 60km range have no place on LOS combat vehicles: either you have datalinks to the (much cheaper for payload) rear line vehicles or you don't have datalinks to make use of organic loitering munitions

I suspect it's something akin to the Israeli Spike NLOS "tank". Put a couple of tanks with loitering munitions mixed into a company of conventional gun tanks and the company gets an organic surveillance capability that is harder to single out and target than a separate vehicle might be. And the other autoloader module is still there for when you do get to close combat.
 

MihoshiK

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
Messages
276
Reaction score
255
Loitering munitions with 60km range have no place on LOS combat vehicles: either you have datalinks to the (much cheaper for payload) rear line vehicles or you don't have datalinks to make use of organic loitering munitions

I suspect it's something akin to the Israeli Spike NLOS "tank". Put a couple of tanks with loitering munitions mixed into a company of conventional gun tanks and the company gets an organic surveillance capability that is harder to single out and target than a separate vehicle might be. And the other autoloader module is still there for when you do get to close combat.
More than that, the fourth crew member is optional; he takes the place of the ten under-armor reloads.

I imagine that you can have one or two tanks in a platoon with the fourth crew member and loitering ammunitions to act as recon/command units, at the cost of most of their main gun ammo.
 

Cjc

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Oct 15, 2021
Messages
74
Reaction score
36
There is also the worry that back line drone carriers are way to vulnerable and high value, so haveing every tank have it means its basically impossible for the enemy to take out you long range fires/drone suport.
 

shin_getter

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
710
Reaction score
807
There is also the worry that back line drone carriers are way to vulnerable and high value, so haveing every tank have it means its basically impossible for the enemy to take out you long range fires/drone suport.
Drone carriers are not high value though, there is almost no cost in the box launchers. You may not need to fill them with munitions if it is unaffordable.

Back line non-LOS forces benefit from concealment: you can put box under forests, inside garages or hell, inside every building to be pushed out via hand cart, under small camo nets or buried lightly as long as door mechanism can push aside the soil covering.

A box launcher also naturally enables ease of creating decoys. Just have field assembly of boxes from walls that mimic signature of a real drone launcher and very easily one can have 10:1 or 100:1 decoy to real launcher ratio. The boxes can be placed on the ground or put on any and every vehicle.

Distributed lethality makes perfect sense here. Even light UGVs or duck taping it on top of self driving tesla's would do.
------------
The idea that the MBT needs to carry loitering munitions basically follows the logic of singular vehicle force structures. If you think about standard combined arms formations, any MBT would be accompanied by IFVs, Infantry, recon, Air defense, command, logistics and other assets which a loitering munition may be more suited for.

Now it can be argued that other assets are too lightly protected to survive on the modern battlefield, but that is a argument for increasing protection to other assets and not have a force consisting of a singular vehicle type that despite attempts at generalization are extremely weak in many aspects of ground warfare, for example air defense.

Loitering munitions cut into vehicle volume that is especially precious due to armor, and the system operator would spend considerable time and attention focused on the distant battle dozens of kilometers away instead of close combat of a LOS platform. There is no synergy here.

A MBT with loitering munition is the kind of design not dissimilar to battleship-carrier hybrids. There is the new hotness of flying widgets, so lets put it on a legacy concept with completely different concept of operations!

(I think future loiter munition support vehicles will generally have recovery and refuel capability)
 

yasotay

ACCESS: Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
3,158
Reaction score
2,117
The machine-gun reigned supreme until the tank. The tank reigned supreme until the ATGM. UAV and loitering muntions will have their day, until practical microwave and tactical laser take away their ascendance. As we have already seen, effective electronic warfare can limit weapons that require data-link. The Darwinism of war will make sure of that.
Interestingly the lose rate of UAV is several times higher than manned flying machines. Of course there are more of them frequenting the front lines so there is more chance for engagement, but they are not lasting very long, so the logistics of replacing them will become a factor.
As to the practicality of armored NLOS launchers, I cannot see a purpose built armored NLOS launcher as being pragmatic. However as the Israelis did, attaching them to existing armored vehicles to give tactical commanders direct access to a firing unit seems valid. So the ubiquitous M-113, MTLB, BMP series combat vehicles with the troop spaces replaced by NLOS or UAV vertical launch tubes might be viable.
I have to agree with shin_getter that the means to conceal these sort of systems will make acquisition and destruction of the launch system will be most difficult and this will create a sort of "machine-gun effect" until effective tactical jamming is developed that disrupts the communications with whomever is controlling the system.
There has been discussion of "teethered" flying sensors that are attached by cable from a tank to allow tank commanders to look over turret defilade or from above the trees. This seems more practical.
 

Ainen

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
150
Reaction score
117
Loitering munitions with 60km range have no place on LOS combat vehicles: either you have datalinks to the (much cheaper for payload) rear line vehicles or you don't have datalinks to make use of organic loitering munitions

I suspect it's something akin to the Israeli Spike NLOS "tank". Put a couple of tanks with loitering munitions mixed into a company of conventional gun tanks and the company gets an organic surveillance capability that is harder to single out and target than a separate vehicle might be. And the other autoloader module is still there for when you do get to close combat.
More than that, the fourth crew member is optional; he takes the place of the ten under-armor reloads.

I imagine that you can have one or two tanks in a platoon with the fourth crew member and loitering ammunitions to act as recon/command units, at the cost of most of their main gun ammo.
Don't think 4th crew station is modular. At the very least, there is no physical way to make a swap w/o offloading the turret.
Nor did they claim it - only "you can sit him there, you can not sit him there".
p.s. yes, and maximum ammo capacity is 20 - i.e. only turret autoloader is swappable.

On the whole - KF51 seems to be a more thorough development of that has begun with the Revolution MBT.
I.e. before it was upgraded 2a4 with AMAP modules all over. Now they decided to thoroughly mess with the inside, too.
 
Last edited:

Foo Fighter

I came, I saw, I drank some tea (and had a bun).
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
2,927
Reaction score
1,786
Removing most of the main gun ammo from a vehicle makes it a liability while maintaining the high cost. A mixed 'troop' of vehicles, a command vehicle does not need to be a tank. You want smaller tanks? Laudable and worthwhile, especially if they have the active defence systems we have heard so much about, working. A decently protected MICV gives space for C&C, communication etc and can allow for improved communication between units. Situational awareness will enable best practice and improve survivability.
 

MihoshiK

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
Messages
276
Reaction score
255
Loitering munitions with 60km range have no place on LOS combat vehicles: either you have datalinks to the (much cheaper for payload) rear line vehicles or you don't have datalinks to make use of organic loitering munitions

I suspect it's something akin to the Israeli Spike NLOS "tank". Put a couple of tanks with loitering munitions mixed into a company of conventional gun tanks and the company gets an organic surveillance capability that is harder to single out and target than a separate vehicle might be. And the other autoloader module is still there for when you do get to close combat.
More than that, the fourth crew member is optional; he takes the place of the ten under-armor reloads.

I imagine that you can have one or two tanks in a platoon with the fourth crew member and loitering ammunitions to act as recon/command units, at the cost of most of their main gun ammo.
Don't think 4th crew station is modular. At the very least, there is no physical way to make a swap w/o offloading the turret.
Nor did they claim it - only "you can sit him there, you can not sit him there".
p.s. yes, and maximum ammo capacity is 20 - i.e. only turret autoloader is swappable.

On the whole - KF51 seems to be a more thorough development of that has begun with the Revolution MBT.
I.e. before it was upgraded 2a4 with AMAP modules all over. Now they decided to thoroughly mess with the inside, too.
Please read Rheinmetall's product page on the tank, they clearly say it's a 3 men crew with optional fourth crew member. I think that's how you order your tank from Rheinmetall.
seems it's not "optional swappable", you can choose to have three or four crew members when you buy the tank.
 

Ainen

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
150
Reaction score
117
Please read Rheinmetall's product page on the tank, they clearly say it's a 3 men crew with optional fourth crew member. I think that's how you order your tank from Rheinmetall.
That crew station is there anyways.

seems it's not "optional swappable", you can choose to have three or four crew members when you buy the tank.
Their brochure is worded in such way, that you may sit that 4th crew member or may do without him, tank will be able to perform with 3 crewmembers just as well. Like, say, most modern twin-seater fighter jets: they can fly and fight perfectly fine without another guy.
But that will be just an empty station.
 

lantinian

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
521
Reaction score
67
The diagram is correct. This was the gun as shown in Eurosatory 2016.
https://rheinmetall-defence.com/en/...ons/news/archiv/archive2016/index~1_10496.php
For the KF-51 Panther, Rheinmetall must have decided to make it a bit longer.
 
Last edited:

lantinian

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
521
Reaction score
67
The KF-51 has an integral short-range air reconnaissance capability, two small UAVs with a few kilometers operational range and 30 min endurance. They are housed on each side of the turret and launched at will to recon the area ahead of the MBT.

ESY-22-Rheinmetall-Panther-2-2.jpg

Also interesting is the modularity of the 2 magazines each housing 10 rounds. For Eurosatory 2022 one was replaced by one with four UVision HERO 120 loitering munitions which are apparently being fired by the main 130 mm gun.
 

Attachments

  • ESY-22-Rheinmetall-Panther-4.jpg
    ESY-22-Rheinmetall-Panther-4.jpg
    372.1 KB · Views: 32
  • ESY-22-Rheinmetall-Panther-3.jpg
    ESY-22-Rheinmetall-Panther-3.jpg
    162.4 KB · Views: 36
  • Screenshot 2022-06-19 at 20.04.59.png
    Screenshot 2022-06-19 at 20.04.59.png
    6.2 MB · Views: 35
  • Screenshot 2022-06-19 at 20.05.43.png
    Screenshot 2022-06-19 at 20.05.43.png
    7 MB · Views: 36

TomS

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
5,751
Reaction score
4,061
For Eurosatory 2022 one was replaced by one with four UVision HERO 120 loitering munitions which are apparently being fired by the main 130 mm gun.

The model clearly shows tip-up launchers for the Hero munitions.
 

lantinian

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
521
Reaction score
67
For Eurosatory 2022 one was replaced by one with four UVision HERO 120 loitering munitions which are apparently being fired by the main 130 mm gun.

The model clearly shows tip-up launchers for the Hero munitions.
Indeed. It's quote obvious. I can no longer find the article online that convinced me to write it this way.

On another note, this site reports that additional 10 round are stored outside the auto-loader.
I could not find any other source to confirm that.

I also found this report to be worth reading
with KF52 being the internal designation for the version with an unmanned turret

And this one has the highest resolution images of the event
 
Last edited:

TomS

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
5,751
Reaction score
4,061
On another note, this site reports that additional 10 round are stored outside the auto-loader.
https://en.topwar.ru/197810-kf51-panther-beglyj-obzor-novogo-tanka-ot-rheinmetall.html I could not find any other source to confirm that.

It's also here, which claims the info comes from Rheimmetall. But it may be a garble of the fact that the 2nd hull crew station replaces ammunition storage in the Leopard 2A4. None of the diagrams or other info on the Rh website backs this up.

 
Last edited:

Josh_TN

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
1,640
Reaction score
1,304
I wonder if it would be possible to swap out that four round drone launcher for more rounds of main gun ammo. Even if it was outside the autoloader, that would allow for reloading in between actions while maintaining separation from the crew. Twenty rounds is pretty thin for an MBT but not dramatically less than a T-72's ready load. It would take some very intense combat to go through that many rounds in one action.
 

MihoshiK

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
Messages
276
Reaction score
255
I wonder if it would be possible to swap out that four round drone launcher for more rounds of main gun ammo. Even if it was outside the autoloader, that would allow for reloading in between actions while maintaining separation from the crew. Twenty rounds is pretty thin for an MBT but not dramatically less than a T-72's ready load. It would take some very intense combat to go through that many rounds in one action.
...It's been pointed out repeatedly that the four round drone launcher takes the place of one 10 round drum, so it reduces the ready load to ten rounds.
We don't know how many non-ready rounds the design has.
 

TomS

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
5,751
Reaction score
4,061
Ah…well that’s a truly light combat load.

It's fairly clear that the Loitering munition option is not meant to be standard for line tanks. At most, a couple of tanks in a company might be fitted that way.
 

Foo Fighter

I came, I saw, I drank some tea (and had a bun).
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
2,927
Reaction score
1,786
I would go about this a different way entirely. A heavy MICV with the cron, loitering munitions and command/control mission. Communicating with the local BG and higher organisation/intel units. Leave the tanks to do their thing and remove the conflict/overload.
 

shin_getter

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
710
Reaction score
807
...It's been pointed out repeatedly that the four round drone launcher takes the place of one 10 round drum, so it reduces the ready load to ten rounds.
We don't know how many non-ready rounds the design has.
Without autoloading mechanism, does this mean the crew have to man-handle the non-ready rounds, rounds that are really quite large?

On that note, how is the crew to access the rounds and other systems when surrounded by control consoles at every station? Perhaps access to vehicle systems without major support would be T-14 tier.

One even wonders if a dedicated rearm vehicle is designed, otherwise even a standard infantry fire support mission can be slowed and a huge pain.
---------------------------
The unveiling time of this tank seems to be quite unfortunate due to the war forcing the biggest projected threat into T-62s and opening a opportunity to defeat via immediate action as opposed to doing it a decade down the road.
 

Similar threads

Top