In Development: KF51 Panther


A new Main Battle Tank will be storming the battlefields of Armored Warfare in the near future and today we’d like to tell you more about it. Yes, it’s the final prize of the Europe’s Edge Battle Path and it’s called KF51 Panther.


The KF51 Panther was developed by Rheinmetall as a private venture and a competition to the planned MGCS main battle tank program in order to replace the aging Leopard 2 series of Main Battle Tanks while keeping things affordable. That is why the entire concept is rather conventional and using tried and true pieces of technology despite some innovative approaches to various issues that plague modern MBTs.

For example, instead of relying on traditional heavy armor that’s pushing the weight of modern MBTs too far, the Panther relies on active protection (StrikeShield advanced armor and ROSY soft kill APS) combined with bleeding edge electronics and weapon systems.

The first demonstrator was based on an old Leopard 2A4 hull. The turret is brand-new though, and well-armed too with its primary weapon being the 130mm Rheinmetall Rh 130 L/52 automatically loaded smoothbore gun (the 51 caliber barrel length reported earlier seems incorrect).


This gun has been in development at least since 2016 and Rheinmetall states that its performance over the NATO standard 120mm guns is increased by roughly 50 percent:

  • 18 MJ of muzzle energy
  • 1700-1900 m/s muzzle velocity for APFSDS ammunition

The gun can elevate to 20 degrees and depress to -9 degrees. The new 130mm DM83 ammunition should be available by 2025 or 2026. The loading mechanism is also innovative as it consists of two independent magazines (each for 10 rounds). While the average loading time is somewhere around 7-8 seconds, the gun can fire two shells within 3 seconds (if the first one is already loaded).

Secondary armament consists of a 12.7mm coaxial machinegun and a RCWS called Natter (armed with a 7.62mm machinegun) at the back of the turret. The Natter weapons station is very versatile, it can be fitted with another 12.7mm machinegun or even 40mm grenade launcher firing programmable airburst grenades. And last but not least, there’s the roof-mounted launcher for Hero-120 loitering drones or other similar weapon systems (some articles even spoke of ATGMs).


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All that is controlled by a very advanced FCS combined with a BMS (battlefield management system) so the crew’s situational awareness is pretty much unprecedented for an MBT.

The demonstrator vehicle first appeared at the Eurosatory expo in 2022 and immediately caught a lot of attention. In 2023, it was decided to develop the concept further, including a new hull. While no customers have been confirmed so far, the country most interested (enough to even join the development) currently is Hungary. Ukraine showed some interest as well but given the high cost of such a program, its participation remains in doubt.


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In Armored Warfare, the KF51 Panther will be a Tier 10 Premium Main Battle Tank.

As you can probably tell from the historical part, the KF51 is related to the Leopard 2 series of MBTs (or at least the demonstrator is) so, gameplay-wise, the tank will be comparable to the Leopard 2AX Tier 10 MBT. However, as it is a more modern vehicle reflecting the experiences derived from contemporary battlefields, it’ll be somewhat better protected thanks to a NERA kit covering the front and the sides of the vehicle.


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Then there’s the main gun of course – the powerful 130mm L/52 smoothbore cannon capable of firing APFSDS, HEAT and advanced HE (Programmable) ammunition. On the roof of the vehicle, there’s a retractable ATGM launcher that’s filled with Hero-120 drones on the real vehicle (although the actual launcher is just a mock-up). However, since even the designers of the real life tank envisage alternative armaments, we have decided to fill the launcher with 4 Spike ATGMs – for now, at least. In the future, this tank will receive the Hero-120 drones as alternative armament (once we’re happy with the recently unveiled Drone mechanic.

As for its mobility, it’ll be comparable to (or slightly better than) the Leopard 2AX – after all, there’s still an old Leopard 2A4 beneath all that tech and the tank itself is not exactly light (59 tons).


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And that’s it, more or less. Unlike some specialist vehicles we have in the game, the Panther will be a suitable vehicle for pretty much all players and not just the experienced ones. With no parameter lagging behind, it’ll perform well in most situations and we hope you’ll enjoy it.

See you on the battlefield!

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