“We are producing a Lynx, we are buying a Leopard, and we have joined in the development of the Panther”, Viktor Orbán said on his TikTok channel when asked whether the Lynx or the Leopard will be the big cat of the Carpathians, reportsMagyar Nemzet.
In his latest video, the Prime Minister added: “We’ll see which one comes out on top, research suggests that it might be the Panther.”
Viktor Orbán’s video reveals that the KF41 Lynx, the infantry fighting vehicle made by Rheinmetall in Zalaegerszeg, western Hungary, was introduced after the inauguration of the German defense company’s plant in the town last week.
The KF51 Panther, the new under-development armored fighting vehicle known as the Panther,
was on display at the ceremonial launch event of the German-Hungarian joint venture, according to an exclusive report on the Panczélosok.hu Facebook page.
Rheinmetall Landsystem’s tank is currently under development and not ready for series production. Since its unveiling last year, however, a few details about the supertank have emerged.
It has a more digitized system than the Leopard 2 family, with some descriptions suggesting that the crew accommodation is like sitting in a spaceship. The 120 millimeter tank gun already known from the Leopards is replaced by a new, larger, 130 millimeter weapon. Because of the larger ammunition, especially in terms of length and weight,
the manufacturer would switch to an automatic loading system as opposed to the manual system that is common in NATO.
This is not unfamiliar to Hungarian soldiers, as all Soviet-Russian six-wheelers from the T-64 onwards, including the T-72 that is in the Hungarian Army, are equipped with automatic armor-piercing cannons.
The T64. Photo via Wikipedia
Compared to the existing and yet-to-arrive Leopard 2 A4+HU and A7+HU,
the automatic cannon will significantly reduce the workload of the crew,
with some reports suggesting that a drone operator will be added to the vacated place left by the abandonment of the loading operator.
According to other sources, the extra seat may be occupied by the squadron commander, who will coordinate the combat of the sub-units. Both information seem to be supported by the fact that several spaces have been created on the streamlined tower to allow for the mounting and installation of modular equipment. Among others, a container with four launching positions for reconnaissance and attack drones, so-called circling munitions, greatly increasing the tank’s reconnaissance and strike capability.
In 2020, an agreement was reached on the purchase of around 218 Rheinmetall Lynx KF41 combat vehicles for the Hungarian Defense Forces. Under the terms of the contract, all but the first 46 units will be produced in Hungary, specifically in a factory to be built in Zalaegerszeg. Accordingly, Rheinmetall Hungary Zrt. was established in 2020.
Rheinmetall, a German defense giant, is working closely with the Hungarian government and companies to produce the aforementioned Lynx infantry fighting vehicle, the world’s newest and most modern vehicle in its class, at its Zalaegerszeg plant; an ammunition and explosives factory is being built on several square kilometers in Várpalota (western Hungary); a software development center is being set up in Budapest; and components for hydrogen and electric-drive trains will be produced in Szeged (southern Hungary). In the latest cooperation, Rheinmetall and the Israeli company UVision will also manufacture their cruise missiles and kamikaze drones in Hungary, that will be supplied to the Hungarian Defense Forces.
In connection with the KF51 Panther, Rheinmetall briefly announced before the Prime Minister’s TikTok video that global supply chains will be used to develop the combat vehicle and that production will also involve countries that plan to regularize the combat vehicle.