Russia Is Mad: The New Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 and Leclerc Tanks are Coming

June 21, 2024 Topic: Security Region: Europe Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: RussiaUkraineWar In UkraineTanksLeclercLeopard 2MBT

Russia Is Mad: The New Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 and Leclerc Tanks are Coming

Eurosatory 2024 in Paris showcased the latest in advanced military technology, including KNDS's unveiling of the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 and a new version of the Leclerc tank from France. 


Summary and Key Points: Eurosatory 2024 in Paris showcased the latest in advanced military technology, including KNDS's unveiling of the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0.

Leclerc Tank


-This new variant of the Leopard 2 main battle tank features a 10% weight reduction, a three-person crew, and an automated loader capable of firing three rounds in 10 seconds.

-KNDS also introduced the Leclerc Evolution, equipped with a 120 mm Ascalon gun and advanced tactical systems. Both tanks demonstrate Franco-German collaboration in modern armored warfare.

Eurosatory 2024: KNDS Unveils Advanced Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 Tank

The latest, most advanced main battle tanks in the world showed up in Paris on Monday. The City of Lights wasn't invaded by a foreign power, nor were the tanks part of the massive security force that will protect the city during the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics.

Rather, Paris this week is hosting Eurosatory 2024, the world's largest arms expo. Among the more than 2,000 exhibitors from around the globe was KNDS –­ the joint venture of Germany's Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and France's Nexter. They officially unveiled the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0, an updated variant of the German-made Leopard 2.

"The latest version of the LEOPARD 2 A8 is characterized by maximum protection, best reconnaissance rate, state-of-the-art communication equipment and maximum effectiveness on the battlefield. It is the successful result of cooperation with 22 user nations," KNDS announced via a press release.

The A-RC 3.0 variant promises to slim down the 60 ton-plus Leopard 2 by as much as 10%. The tank will also host one fewer crew member by replacing the role of the loader with an automated loader. The three-person crew will be placed deeper within the vehicle's chassis. A modular unmanned turret will host a main gun ranging from 120 mm to 140 mm, with the latter able to fire larger projectiles that offer longer range and heavier kinetic hitting power.

Axel Scheibel, head of development at KNDS, told reporters that the autoloader took design cues from soda bottle distributors and could be capable of firing three rounds in 10 seconds – far greater than tanks with a crew of four, including a gunner and loader. The turret would be further armed with a 30 mm secondary weapon and anti-tank missiles. 

While development of the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0 continues, it likely won't be until Eurosatory 2026 that a fully functional prototype will be ready for demonstrations. Modifications are still being made to the chassis, both to protect the crew and to ensure that everything fits perfectly. Though a potentially slimmed-down MBT, the new vehicle will be powered by a 1,100 kW (1,500 HP) engine, which can allow it to reach a top speed of 65 kilometers per hour (40 miles per hour), with a range of 460 km.

More Than the Leopard 2 A-RC 3.0  

KNDS isn't solely focused on the enhanced Leopard 2. At this week's arms show in Paris, it presented a prototype of the French Leclerc tank fitted with a 120 mm Ascalon gun, which according to KNDS can be easily retrofitted to calibers up to 140 mm.

"Introducing a new concept with four crew members that are adapted to the latest tactical situations, the Leclerc Evolution integrates a deputy commander crew station fitted in the chassis to manage an extensive sensors and effectors suite, such as the ARX 30 RCWS perfectly fitted for counter-UAV warfare and a loitering ammunition launcher," the company stated.


The Franco-German consortium explained that the Leclerc Evolution and the Leopard 2 ARC 3.0 are meant to ensure a "commercial complementarity," where French and German tanks could roll into battle together.

Author Experience and Expertise: Peter Suciu 

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu. You can email the author: [email protected].

All images are Creative Commons images of France's Leclerc tank.