As reported by Larissa Holzki and Martin Murphy in Handelsblatt, a German newspaper dated February 10, 2023, Rheinmetall aims to supply Ukraine with KF51 Panthers.
Rheinmetall is in talks with Kyiv to supply its latest main battle tank, the KF51 Panther, to the Ukrainian army. The CEO of Rheinmetall, Armin Papperger, stated in an interview with Handelsblatt: “We are discussing the possibility of exporting the Panther to Kyiv.” Additionally, the country has expressed an interest in acquiring the new KF41 Lynx infantry fighting vehicle.
If the sale of Rheinmetall’s KF51 Panther main battle tank to Ukraine takes place with the German federal government’s approval, Ukraine will become the first customer for this state-of-the-art tank, which was unveiled at the Eurosatory 2022 defense exhibition in Paris last June. Although only a demonstration model of the Panther currently exists, Rheinmetall’s CEO, Armin Papperger, has promised a delivery time frame of 15 to 18 months, with the tanks being produced either in Germany or Hungary.
The KF51 Panther features an innovative design, with a three-person crew consisting of a commander and gunner in the turret, and a driver in the chassis, along with an additional operator station for a weapons and subsystems specialist or command personnel. Its fully digital architecture, in compliance with NGVA standards, allows for seamless integration of sensors and effectors within the platform and into a networked system.
The operation of sensors and weapons can be quickly transferred between crew members, with each operator station having the capability to take over tasks and roles from others while retaining full functionality. Additionally, the turret and weapons can also be controlled from the operator stations in the chassis, with plans for future variants of the KF51 Panther featuring unmanned turrets or completely remote-controlled vehicles.
With its main armament, the 130mm Rheinmetall Future Gun System, the KF51 Panther offers exceptional firepower against all current and future mechanized targets. In addition, other armament options are available for long-range strikes and against multiple targets.