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Panther KF51. Photo: Rheinmetall

Leonardo, Rheinmetall Forge European Defence Partnership

Our Bureau - : Jul 4, 2024 - : 10:00 pm

Leonardo and Rheinmetall have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a 50:50 joint venture aimed at developing a European industrial and technological strategy for land defence systems. The initiative will also chart the future course for the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) programme.

The agreement focuses on the development and subsequent commercialisation of a new Main Battle Tank (MBT) and the Lynx platform for the Armoured Infantry Combat System (AICS). This significant partnership has gained attention from major international newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, Les Echos, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Corriere della Sera, Il Sole 24 Ore, and la Repubblica, which have highlighted the current geopolitical context and the strategic goals of the collaboration.

The joint venture will be headquartered in Italy and will oversee the production of new heavy tanks and armoured infantry vehicles for the Italian Army. Manufacturing will be carried out in Italy, with 60% Italian participation. Leonardo will have a pivotal role in production, particularly in the areas of electronics and tank turrets.

Leonardo’s CEO, Roberto Cingolani, stated, “We see this agreement as a fundamental contribution towards the creation of a European Defence Space.” The joint venture will act as the Lead System Integrator, prime contractor, and system integrator for both the MBT and AICS programmes in Italy, and will outline the roadmap for future involvement in the European MGCS programme.


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