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The Jagdpanther (German: "hunting panther") was a tank destroyer built by Nazi Germany during World War II based on the chassis of the Panther tank. It entered service late in the war (1944) and saw service on the Eastern and Western Fronts. The Jagdpanther combined the very powerful 8.8 cm KwK 43 cannon of the Tiger II and the characteristically excellent armor and suspension of the Panther chassis, although it suffered from the general poor state of German ordnance production, maintenance and training in the later part of the war, which resulted in small production numbers, shortage in spare parts and poor crew readiness.The Jagdpanther had been preceded by two attempts at mounting an 8.8 cm gun as a self-propelled anti-tank weapon; Ferdinand using the 91 leftover Porsche-built VK4501(P) chassis from the Tiger tank competition it had lost to Henschel in 1942, and the Nashorn using a Panzer III/IV chassis. Ferdinand proved to be too heavy and Nashorn small and underpowered.
A heavy tank destroyer design based on the 8.8 cm Pak 43 gun and the Panther tank chassis was ordered in late 1942 as design SdKfz 173. The prototype by Mühlenbau-Industrie A.G. (MIAG) was demonstrated in October 1943 before Hitler.
Production started in January 1944; in February, Hitler specified the simpler Jagdpanther name instead of its original "8.8 cm Pak 43/3 auf Panzerjäger Panther".