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Panther MBT moves closer to production with $316 million development contract

15th December 2023 - 17:15 GMT | by Damian Kemp in London

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The Panther KF51 MBT will be based on an existing chassis but is designed for a digital future. (Photo: Rheinmetall)

Rheinmetall unveiled the KF51 Panther at Eurosatory 2022. The MBT will use Leopard 2 components in its bare chassis, but will feature a new turret and the Rheinmetall 130mm L/52 smoothbore gun.

The next-generation Panther KF51 MBT, featuring an open generic digital architecture, has taken one step closer to production after a deal was signed between the Hungarian Government and Germany’s Rheinmetall.

The development contract worth around €288 million (US$315.7 million), under which a demonstrator vehicle will be constructed and qualified, will pave the way to full-scale production.

Rheinmetall has been cooperating with the state-owned Hungarian holding company N7 in the development effort with N7 holding a 49 percent stake in the joint venture Rheinmetall Hungary.

The vehicle will build heavily upon the reliable stalwart Leopard MBT, a nod to which is provided by the new name,

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Damian Kemp

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Damian Kemp


Damian Kemp has worked in the defence media for 25 years covering military aircraft, defence …

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