In spring 2017, the European Defence Agency (EDA) launched the ‘OMBT-Leo2’ project, a new Pooling & Sharing initiative which aims at optimizing existing Main Battle Tank (MBT) capabilities in Europe with an initial focus on the Leopard 2A4.
The concept foresees the offer of surplus Leopard platforms available in certain Member States (the ‘providers’) and transfer them (lease, rent or sell) together with an upgrading package to one or several other Member States (the ‘receivers’) interested in acquiring and introducing in-service this type of capability. The Pooling & Sharing of training, exercises and maintenance between providers and receivers, using already existing facilities, is also part of the concept.
Additionally, regarding economies of scale, Member States owning and operating for national purposes the same type of MBTs, can opt-in for upgrading their in-service fleet.
The EDA is now elaborating a business case based on the upgrading of participating Leopard 2A4 platforms to the latest configuration (2A7) and invites the European defence industry to provide its input. For this purpose, the Agency issued a Request for Information (RFI) on 22 September to the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and National Defence Industry Associations (NDIAs) of EU countries, encouraging the European defence industry to consider creating cross-border industrial partnership.
Upgrade of legacy MBTs to the latest technical standards would have a positive impact for European defence industry in the area of land systems. It would also contribute to the maintenance of technological excellence of the European Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB).
This RFI encourages the establishment of European multinational cross-border industrial partnerships as the preferred mechanism to exploit this opportunity. Additionally, EDA considers this programme as a suitable vehicle for enhanced access for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) to the cross-border supply chain.
The business case will have to provide information on the content and cost of the Integrated Logistics Support package provided by industrial partners covering recurring/scheduled maintenance as well as estimated figures for the Life Cycle Costs of the upgraded tanks. With the support provided by EDA on updating the business case, interested Member States will further evaluate the possibility of acquiring/upgrading this up-to-date version of the tanks.
The deadline for responding to this RFI is 8 December 2017.
All the responses will be evaluated by experts from EDA and interested Member States at the beginning of 2018.