Saturday, July 20, 2024

RID – Italian Defense Magazine – shownews


Through an official press release, first KNDS and then Leonardo announced the end of negotiations to formalize the partnership that should have been the result of the LOI (Letter of Intent) signed by the two companies in December last year.

The main objective of this partnership should have been the LEOPARD 2 A8 tank and its supply to EI (but also the AICS programme, Armored Infantry Combat System, also for EI). In practice, the two companies did not reach an agreement on the so-called Italianization of the vehicle, which was also stipulated in the licensing decree for the program approved by the Italian Parliament. Better yet, as explicitly stated in the press release, KNDS did not want to touch the LEOPARD 2 standard by “preserving its configuration”: an option, let us tell you, frankly questionable given the risks and $8 billion demand. But we will talk about these in more detail.

At this stage, new prospects for the acquisition of a new battle tank, as well as for the AICS system, are opening up.

Regarding the main battle tank, the most credible candidate seems to be the PANTHER, unveiled by Rheinmetall in 2022 during Eurosatory: a tank created based on multi-domain requirements, designed for integration with drones and loitering, with a weight that can reach more or less The right one, which provides excellent margins for growth. However, between the lines of the KNDS press release, we clearly read the intention to offer the LEOPARD 2 A8 to EI as is (“However, KNDS remains committed to supporting the Italian Army”). we will see.

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However, for AICS systems, the candidates remain the “advanced” CV-90 from BAE Systems and LYNX from the same company Rheinmetall. However, it is clear that under these circumstances, the PANTHER/LYNX “ticket” would make a lot of sense, with excellent growth prospects for the Italian and European ground defense sector, and with an operationally important return for EI. In its press release, Leonardo talks about “cooperation with other qualified international partners.”

More updates in the next few hours.

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