France privatizes Nexter, maker of AMX Leclerc

Defense News is reporting that the French Government has voted to privatize the state owned land weapons manufacturer Nexter.  Nexter is the producer of the AMX:Leclerc MBT.  This move is seen as one of the steps in forging a partnership between Nexter and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.  This new joint holding company would be named KMW And Nexter Together, or KANT, and it would be a European leader in land armaments with annual sales of almost US $2.2 billion.  At the July 9 board meeting of Giat, the state-owned holding company of Nexter, 12 out of 18 board members voted in favor of the link-up, while three trade union representatives abstained and three voted against.  It has been reported that one of the goals of this partnership will be to create the next generation of European MBT.

Article link here.

French and German defense companies announce joint land weapon venture

Leopard 2Defense News is reporting that the French company Nexter and German company Krauss Maffei-Wegmann have signed a memorandum of understanding for an equally owned alliance.  Assuming that the political issues involved in such an alliance may be overcome, the purpose of the alliance, named Nexter and KMW Together (KANT) is to produce a new generation of combat vehicles, including a new tank.  According to the article, KMW Chairman Frank Haun on Jan. 14 told the French National Assembly defense committee the alliance would work over the next five years developing a tank — whether it be called Leopard 3, Leleo or Leoclerc — and the new heavy armored vehicle could be delivered 2025-2030 to replace the Leclerc and Leopard 2.  Other products developed by KANT could include fully automated artillery, smart munitions and laser weapons.  The article neglects to mention the relatively poor track record of joint tank design and production programs involving Germany and France in the past.  Full article here.