The European Defence Agency (EDA) has launched a new project to optimise existing Main Battle Tank (MBT) capabilities in Europe.

Under the ‘OMBT-Leo2’ project, EDA expects to transfer surplus MBT platforms available in certain member states to other member states interested in acquiring the technology.

The pooling and sharing initiative will initially focus on the lease, rental or sale of Leopard 2A4.

The member states owning and operating the same type of MBTs for national purposes can opt-in to upgrade their in-service fleet.

The EDA has issued a request for information (RFI) for the upgradation of participating Leopard 2A4 platforms to the latest configuration (2A7).

The upgrade of legacy MBTs to the latest technical standards is expected to have a positive impact on the European defence industry.

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It would also contribute to the maintenance of technological excellence of the European Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), EDA stated.

"The upgrade of legacy MBTs to the latest technical standards is expected to have a positive impact on the European defence industry."

The business case produced by the EDA will provide information on the content and cost of the integrated logistics support package provided by industrial partners.

The package covers recurring / scheduled maintenance and estimated figures for the lifecycle costs of the upgraded tanks, according to EDA.

The AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and National Defence Industry Associations (NDIAs) of EU countries can respond to this RFI until 8 December.

All responses will be evaluated by experts from EDA and interested member states next year.

Image: An MBT platform. Photo: courtesy of the European Defence Agency.