The tank has been around for over a hundred years and during that time it has evolved from a clunky chunk of metal with treads slowly making its way across the battlefield, to an ultra modern and lethal bit of machinery.
In 1979, while I was in the 1st Cavalry Division stationed at Fort Hood, they had just started testing on the M1 Abrams tank. And since that time, the Abrams has more than proven itself on the battlefield. And since its introduction, the Abrams has continued to evolve making it one of the most lethal tanks in the world.
But we’re not here to talk about the Abrams, with its introduction a year ago, the Rheinmetall ‘Panther’ KF51 Tank hit the world stage and it is literally putting all of the competition to shame, this tank is a virtual ‘game changer’ and has set a new world standard on the future of tank technology.
I’m going to let you watch the first video which is only a minute and a half long, then beneath it I will place some info regarding the KF51 directly from the Rheinmetall website and beneath that, is another video, about 24 minutes long which gives you a broader, more in depth look at the KF51.
The current ‘Panther’ gets its name from it’s great-grandfather the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther, which saw service starting in 1943. The original Panther was also a ‘game changer!
The Panther is the first of its kind: a radically new main battle tank concept whose development has not been constrained by yesterday’s technologies. Drawing on some of the latest technological approaches, the Panther was designed from the ground up to cover the following aspects:
- Maximum effect on the battlefield combined with a
- survivability concept and through a
- fully digitized NGVA data backbone that connects to
- Next generation usability and automation.
This allows for crew reduction and paves the way for unmanned turret options and man-machine teaming.
The 130 mm Future Gun System (FGS) developed by Rheinmetall and the optimized sensor shooter network ensure fast combat and a high degree of effectiveness on the target.
The first main battle tank to use an integrated survival concept with sensors on and off the platform, as well as active, reactive and passive protection technologies and a special protection system against attacks from above (Top Attack).
The Panther is the first main battle tank based on a digital architecture that conforms to the NGVA standard. This is the most important requirement for future decision support and automation systems.
The Panther fulfills the core ability “Dominate and Destroy”. With the Rheinmetall Future Gun System, consisting of a 130 mm cannon, a fully automatic ammunition feed system and additional armament options such as the HERO 120 loitering ammunition, the Panther has concentrated firepower for superior effectiveness at long ranges and when fighting multiple targets.
Rarely has the sheer power of a main battle tank gun been so impressive. The Future Gun System developed by Rheinmetall enables a 50 percent longer range (than 120 mm) with an unrivaled high rate of fire thanks to the autoloader. A 12.7mm coaxial machine gun complements the main weapon system. Multiple Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS) integration options provide flexibility for close-in defense and counter-drone operations. The optional HERO 120 Loitering Ammo extends the Panther’s ability to attack targets out of direct line of sight. Depending on the role and application requirements, an LM starter can be fitted.
All weapons are linked to the target optics and fire control computer via the fully digitized architecture, enabling ‘hunter-killer’ and ‘killer-killer’ procedures, seamless target engagement and future AI decision support.
If you decide to continue reading, understand that the rheinmetall.com website is in the German language and you will have to use Google Translate to continue reading.
To continue reading click HERE.
If you have gotten this far, the second video is a more in depth look at the KF51 Panther.
H/T – rheinmetall.com