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KNDS and Leonardo Abandon Negotiations

Our Bureau - : Jun 12, 2024 - : 4:25 am

Amsterdam-based KNDS, a joint venture between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter, is no longer in talks with Leonardo regarding a potential partnership with the Italian company.

The partnership was based around joint development and production of the Leopard 2A8 main battle tank (MBT), but the two companies failed to agree on a configuration.

The negotiations, announced in December last year, was aimed at potentially forming a partnership between Leonardo’s defence division and KNDS. The companies were striving for joint development and production of the KNDS battle tank Leopard 2 A8 for a procurement programme of the Italian Ministry of Defence and partnering in the Italian procurement programme for an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).

“With 18 European user countries, Leopard 2 is the battle tank standard of our continent and of NATO,” said Frank Haun, CEO of KNDS. “It is more important than ever to safeguard this standard, which makes a significant contribution to the interoperability and joint combat power of the European and NATO armies. The parties did not manage to agree on configuration and consequently, talks about Leonardo’s strategic participation in KNDS have also fallen short. Yet KNDS continues to be committed to support the Italian Army.”

The talks between the two companies had commenced after the European manufacturers signed an agreement to develop “more intensive cooperation” with the common goal of establishing “a truly European defence group.”

Italy intends to acquire 132 Leopard 2A8IT combat capable tanks and up to an additional 140 support vehicles as part of a two phase program that will run until 2037. The total cost of the program is estimated to be about €8.2 billion ($8.8 billion). The first phase, from this year until 2026, will cover development and pre-series production of the new vehicles.


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