KNDS debuts AI-Powered EMBT for Future Franco-German Tank

KNDS debuts AI-Powered EMBT for Future Franco-German Tank

European defense company KNDS debuts AI-Powered EMBT for Future Franco-German Tank at the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris this week. The Enhanced Main Battle Tank (EMBT) technology demonstrator integrates cutting-edge capabilities proposed for the multinational Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) program.

Unmanned EMBT-ADT 140 Turret

A key feature of the EMBT demonstrator is KNDS’s new unmanned EMBT-ADT 140 turret system. The advanced turret includes:

  • 140mm Ascalon main gun
  • ARX30 30mm remote controlled weapon station
  • French Prometheus active protection system

The turret demonstrator highlights KNDS’s vision for integrating technologies like sensor fusion, 360-degree active protection, artificial intelligence, cyber defenses and hybrid energy applications on future vehicles.

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SAFE AI Fire Control System

Another major proposed capability is KNDS’s SAFE (System Assisting Fire Engagement) artificial intelligence-powered fire control system. SAFE autonomously selects, prioritizes and queues the tank’s various onboard weapons to rapidly engage targets across the battlefield.

According to KNDS, all MGCS vehicles should integrate the SAFE software, which can be networked across domains while keeping human operators in the decision loop for final engagement confirmations.

Reduced 3-Person Crew

One notable design aspect is that the EMBT reduces the crew size to just three personnel, compared to four on KNDS’s existing upgraded Leopard 2 and Leclerc vehicles also displayed at Eurosatory. This is enabled by autonomous technologies like SAFE and an increased internal volume from shortening the engine compartment on the upgraded Leopard chassis.

MGCS Program Timeline

KNDS stated the EMBT demonstrator proactively anticipates MGCS program requirements, with live-fire testing of the ADT 140 turret scheduled for 2025. A contract award for the multinational MGCS effort aiming to replace Leopard and Leclerc tanks is expected that same year.

This week, KNDS joined Rheinmetall and Thales in forming a joint MGCS project company following an agreement with French and German governments on balanced industry workshare.

MGCS originally launched in 2017 with the goal of fielding a next-generation European main battle tank from 2035 onwards. However, Rheinmetall showcased an unmanned turret for its Panther KF51 at Eurosatory as a potential interim solution if MGCS experiences delays.

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