Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), Nexter, Rheinmetall and the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) have signed a contract for the System Architecture Definition Study – Part 1 (SADS Part 1).

Under the contract, the companies received approval from the governments of Germany and France for the initial architecture study for the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) programme.

The first phase of development work is expected to last 18 months.

In October last year at the Franco-German Ministerial Council meeting in Toulouse, France, the defence ministers of both the countries committed to developing the MGCS.

Implemented under German leadership, the agreement is tasked with developing the main combat system to succeed the Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2 and the French Army’s Leclerc. It is expected to commence in 2035.

In December 2019, the MGCS procurement programme was established by the three participating companies with the setup of ARGE.

The study is to understand the final MGCS concepts of the previous phase and further analyse the details.

This will help researchers propose a common multi-platform architecture.

The three partners will evaluate ‘various aspects of different concepts: technical feasibility in the projected timeframe allotted for the programme; ability to fulfil the operational needs of both armies’.

Furthermore, the partners will study the ‘efficiency and compatibility with national  “systems of systems”’.

In the SADS Part 1, workshares will be distributed equally between France and Germany.