​New 120mm EKE Tank Shell For Leopard 2 and Challenger 3 to Enter Production Soon

Leopard 2 / Illustrative photo credit: Krauss Maffei Wegmann
Leopard 2 / Illustrative photo credit: Krauss Maffei Wegmann

By the time the first Challenger 3s will be put into service in 2027, they will already have a new type of ammunition to work with

Germany and Great Britain are one step closer to their ambition to launch joint production of tank ammunition. The two countries signed a statement of intent this week and hope to unfold the production of shells for German and British main battle tanks by the end of this year, Defense News reports.

The 120mm munition called Enhanced Kinetic Energy (EKE) is designed for use by Challenger 3 and Leopard 2 tanks, it is intended to give them new capabilities against enemy heavily armored targets, foremost, tanks. It will be made with the use of either depleted uranium or tungsten.

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Currently, only these two countries are involved but they are willing to allow others to join in and talk over the production of other types of 120mm ammunition. The media reports, there is already an interested partner but without specifying who it is.

From the German side, the representative is the Rheinmetall Waffe Munition which holds the authority to produce the new shell. The company is now in negotiations with British companies.

As a reminder, in early 2023, the United Kingdom approved the final design of the Challenger 3 that is expected to replace the Challenger 2 in the British Army, the project entered the prototype making stage. The first vehicles are to be delivered in 2027, and the finale of the development is scheduled for 2030. By this time the new EKE ammunition should be ready and stocked by this date as well.

Challenger 3 MBT
Challenger 3 MBT / Photo credit: UK Ministry of Defense

Meanwhile in Germany, there are discussions about making new versions of Leopard 2. One of the modifications should be introduced in just two years, in 2025.

Leopard 2A7+ equipped with КАЗ EuroTrophy and a machine gun combat module
Leopard 2A7+ equipped with the Trophy active protection system (EuroTrophy) and a machine gun combat module / Photo credit: Krauss Maffei Wegmann
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