MGCS – Main Ground Combat System

The smart tank is rolling in

As part of a ground-breaking project, Germany and France are working together on a state-of-the-art tank system given the unassuming title of Main Ground Combat System (MGCS). It is set to replace the current Leopard 2 and Leclerc main battle tanks (MBT). HENSOLDT has identified the MGCS as a major strategic programme and will develop the key networked sensor solution for this in cross-divisional cooperation.

Automated situation analysis

Maintaining an overview in chaotic combat situations is never the easiest task for a tank’s crew. The restricted view from the armoured hull is compensated by a multitude of different sensors like radars and cameras. But the crew still has to consolidate and correctly analyse all of these information – in a matter of seconds – before they can take any (counter) measures.

At HENSOLDT, we see huge potential for improvement in this area. From our perspective, the major development opportunities for the Franco-German defence project lie in the user-oriented consolidation and analysis of information from sensors such as optronics and radars as well as communication equipment within a single system.

The goal is to offer the MGCS crew a full overview, including automated situation analysis, in real time with artificial intelligence (AI) support.

Game changer in ground combat

This programme means developing key technologies, including a decision-centric battle management solution. After all, the intelligent fusion of data from different sources not only confers an information advantage but also decision-making superiority. And the ability to make faster and more purposeful decisions – in other words, to issue commands and initiate action – also considerably improves the likelihood of mission success. This is especially so when such detailed overviews of a situation can also be exchanged between vehicles and platoons. All information is to be accessed by all vehicles at all times.

In short, the intelligent sensor technology for the MGCS that we intend to develop will be a real game changer in combat situations on the ground and will thus decisively set the tone for the future