In a statement released on August 4, 2023, the German Ministry of Defense confirmed the delivery of an additional batch of 40 Marder armored tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) to Ukraine. This bolstered delivery brings Ukraine’s total receipt to 60 Marder IFVs, following the initial supply of 20 units earlier.
The Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) provided to Ukraine are the renovated Marder 1A3 model, upgraded by the German firm Rheinmetall. The inaugural batch of these IFVs was dispatched to Ukraine in March 2023. The units supplied were once Marder 1A3 systems owned by the Bundeswehr, now meticulously overhauled. Rheinmetall Landsysteme had initiated the restoration of these IFVs as far back as spring 2022, bearing the cost to ensure immediate combat readiness. The refurbishment process took place at their facilities in Unterlüß and Kassel.
The Marder 1A3 is a type of Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) used by the German Army. The Marder series was developed in the 1960s and 70s as a mechanized infantry combat vehicle that could accompany tanks into battle.
The Marder 1A3 is an upgraded version of the original Marder, featuring various improvements in areas such as armor, firepower, and mobility. The armor was enhanced to increase protection against various threats, especially against anti-tank weapons.
This vehicle is typically armed with a 20mm automatic cannon, which is capable of engaging enemy personnel, light vehicles, and low-flying aircraft. Some versions of the Marder also carry anti-tank guided missiles for engaging enemy armor. In addition, the Marder 1A3 has a machine gun for close-in defense.
The Marder 1A3 has a crew of three: the driver, the gunner, and the commander. It can also carry a squad of mechanized infantry, which can fight from inside the vehicle using firing ports or dismount to fight on foot.
The German Marder 1A3 IFV offers several improvements over the Soviet-era BMP-1 and BMP-2 IFVs currently in service with the Ukrainian Army. The Marder 1A3’s enhanced armor protection would be a major benefit, providing better survivability against anti-tank weapons and other threats, while the BMP series was known for relatively thin armor.
In terms of firepower, the Marder 1A3 is equipped with a 20mm automatic cannon, which represents a significant upgrade over the 73mm gun on the BMP-1 and is comparable to the 30mm cannon on the BMP-2. Additionally, the Marder’s capacity to carry anti-tank guided missiles offers greater firepower against enemy armored vehicles.
The Marder 1A3 also offers tactical versatility. While both the Marder and the BMP series can carry a squad of mechanized infantry, the Marder’s layout, with the troop compartment in the rear as opposed to the center in the BMP, may allow for safer and more efficient mounting and dismounting. This could enable more flexible and effective deployment of infantry in various combat scenarios.
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