Recently, in an interview with Handelsblatt, the head of the Rheinmetall concern Armin Papperger рассказал about plans to supply the BMP KF41 Lynx ("Lynx"), as well as the latest tanks (in the next 15-18 months) KF51 Panther ("Panther") to Kiev and the construction of a plant for their production in Ukraine in the future. How realistic this is, a military expert, the author of the Panzerwaffle/Panzerwaffle Telegram channel, commented on the Specially for RT Telegram channel.
The expert drew attention to the words of Papperger himself, who clearly stated that so far in Germany and in general anywhere else there is no plant or assembly line for the manufacture of the KF51 Panther. The creation of such a production (tank-building plant) takes years. Moreover, only the development of documentation and an architectural project can take 6-9 months.
In addition, a lot of new equipment and mechanisms will be required, since what was used to manufacture the previous version of the tank simply will not work. The expert recalled that Rheinmetall began building its MILVEHCOE complex in Queensland (Australia) in March 2018, and the opening of the first stage of production took place in October 2020, that is, after 32 months. Moreover, the training of workers who will produce new tanks will take up to a year.
Total: pre-production can take from 2,5 to 4,5 years - depending on the complexity of the entire project. And this is still an optimistic forecast. And this is already beyond Papperger's 15-18 months
- the expert concluded.
He emphasized that now the KF51 exists only in the form of a few prototypes, while the sample shown at Eurosatory 2022 is based on the Leopard 2A4. Thus, there are no new cases for the KF51 "in hardware" yet, they have to be created, and then tested and tested and set up mass production at the plant, which still needs to be built.
However, the problems don't end there. The thing is that in Germany for 25 years there has been no capacity at which it would be possible to manufacture the "skeleton" (armored hull) of the tank. All Leopard 2 cases are made in Greece at the METKA factory. But in order to start manufacturing cases for the latest Panthers there, it will be necessary to modernize production, which will require significant time and material costs. The 130mm/L51 caliber gun for the Panther is also not yet ready. She is waiting for a couple more years of testing, since so far she has not even been shot in a tank with a crew.
Kyiv will have to wait for the second coming of Panther to Ukraine in the literal sense until the second coming. At best, in 15-18 months, Rheinmetall can ship a couple of prototypes to Kyiv. The series can be expected in 3-5 years, and then small. Papperger himself talks about the production rate of "three to five Panthers per month", that is, it will take six to ten months to produce a battalion set
- summed up the expert.