A standard European tank? Procurement politics, technology transfer and the challenges of collaborative MBT projects in the NATO alliance since 1945

Cubbin, M 2019, A standard European tank? Procurement politics, technology transfer and the challenges of collaborative MBT projects in the NATO alliance since 1945 , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

International cooperation in weapons technology projects has long been a feature of alliance politics; and, there are many advantages to both international technology transfer and standardisation within military alliances. International collaboration between national defence industries has produced successful weapon systems from technologically advanced fighter aircraft to anti-tank missiles. Given the success of many joint defence projects, one unresolved question is why there have been no successful collaborative international main battle tank (MBT) projects since 1945. This thesis seeks to answer this question by considering four case studies of failed attempts to produce an MBT through an international collaborative tank project: first and second, the Franco-German efforts to produce a standard European tank, or Euro-Panzer (represented by two separate projects in 1957-63 and 1977-83); third, the US-German MBT-70 project (1963-70); and, fourth, the Anglo-German Future Main Battle Tank, or KPz3 (1971-77). In order to provide an explanation of the causes of failure on four separate occasions, the analysis includes reference to other high-technology civilian and military joint projects which either succeeded, or which cannot be classified as international MBT collaborative projects (such as the KNDS demonstration tank and the MBT-2000 developed by China and Pakistan). In addition to identifying the multiple causes of failure and providing an analysis of the most significant factor(s) in each case, it will be argued that the pattern which emerged during the Cold War does not necessarily provide an ‘absolute principle’ for future collaborative MBT projects: financial and other pressures may yet create conditions conducive to the completion of a successful collaborative MBT high-technology project. Future projects ought, however, to take note of the lessons from previous experience.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Searle, DA (Supervisor) and Hall, BH (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Funders: The Lady Monica Cockfield Memorial Trust
Depositing User: Mike Cubbin
Date Deposited: 07 May 2021 15:27
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:52
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/60036

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