12 Upgrade Options For Tanks: Rheinmetall’s ‘MBT Revolution’
By ALBRECHT MULLER – Rheinmetall Defence has unveiled MBT Revolution, a set of 12 mix-and-match upgrade modules meant to prep today’s tanks for tomorrow’s threats.
The modules can be installed individually, and company officials say they would add only a modest amount of weight and alter the tank’s contours only slightly.
Rheinmetall says it has created a comprehensive protection concept using advanced materials and technologies. Several distinct modules can be mounted or removed as conditions dictate: ones that protect the turret and hull against IED blasts, the belly against mines, and the roof against artillery bomblet fragments. A new smoke obscurant system, named Rosy, is designed to cloak the tank from weapons guided by television, electro-optical or infrared sensors, and laser illuminators.
A new sensor module includes the SEOSS (two-axis-stabilized electro-optical sensor), Saphir thermal imaging device, daylight camera, and laser rangefinder. Users can choose between a 360-degree panoramic view of the battlefield or a coaxial, weapon-aligned perspective.
The SAS (situational awareness system) gives a panoramic view of the immediate vicinity of the tank. Its four 60-degree modules automatically detect and track potential targets with cameras and night vision components.
Other MBT Revolution modules include what the company calls the world’s first temperature-independent high-explosive tank round; a digital, networked turret core; a new periscope for the commander’s station; a control that allows the commander to brake the tank; better internal climate control; 17-kilowatt auxiliary power system; and a communications system to link tank crew with people outside.