Germany transfers Marder armor to Greece, paving the way for Ukraine to receive BMP-1 xe

Germany began delivering the first Marder armored vehicles to Greece on October 17. An estimated 40 Marders will be delivered in exchange for BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles for the Ukrainian army. 

NATO countries have transferred many weapons of Soviet origin to Ukraine so that their soldiers can use them immediately, in return, they will receive corresponding weapons from Germany and the United States. Currently, Berlin has begun to deliver Marder armored vehicles to Greece.

Immediately after receiving the Marder armored vehicles from Germany, Greece is expected to begin the delivery of 40 BMP-1 armored vehicles to the Ukrainian army.

The delivery of the BMP-1 to Ukraine was negotiated by Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht within the framework of Greece and Germany’s support for Ukraine.

The Marder armored vehicle is a German-made assault infantry fighting vehicle that has been in service with Panzergrenadiere (motorized infantry) units from the 1970s to the present.

Developed as part of the then-new German armored vehicle program, the Marder was indeed a successful infantry fighting vehicle design,

Despite the strong firepower of the remote control, the Marder still kept the design quite basic with the rear doors and infantrymen able to shoot through the eyelets on either side of the vehicle.

Development of the Marder began in 1960 with the first cars being delivered to the German Army in 1971.

The main requirements required were to carry 12 infantrymen, armed with a reliable 20mm cannon, the infantrymen must be able to fire from the vehicle, and be able to protect the troops from weapons of mass destruction.

It can be said that the requirements for this new armored vehicle follow the legendary Soviet infantry fighting vehicle BMP-1 launched earlier.

At first, the development contract was assigned to two companies, Rheinstahl, and the Swiss company MOWAG, then in 1967, when all the requirements for the new vehicle were officially put in place, the final development work was done. assigned to the Rheinstahl group.

The first delivery of Marder armored vehicles lasted from 1971 to 1975, with 2,136 units produced.

In terms of design, the body of the Marder is armored to help resist light bullets and artillery pieces, while the front of the vehicle can withstand even 20mm armor-piercing bullets.

Later versions also resisted 30mm bullets in a confrontation with the 30mm cannon of the Soviet BMP-2 armored vehicle.

Marder has a similar arrangement of positions as IFVs (infantry fighting vehicles) of the time such as the driver sitting in the front left and on his right is the position of the engine compartment.

The driver has 3 periscopes for day vision and at night the middle glass will be replaced by a dedicated night vision lens.

Sitting behind the driver is an infantryman, which in the early Marder version had its own hatch and panoramic glass, but this was removed in the 1A3.

In the middle of the vehicle is a two-man turret, with the commander on the right and the gunner on the left, each has its own doors, and the commander has an 8-piece periscope system to help observe the surrounding landscape.

Located at the rear of the car is a soldier compartment with enough space for 6 people with two rows of seats facing out (similar to the design of infantry seats on the BMP-1,2).

The main optical viewfinder system is the PERI-Z11 type with the ability to zoom in 2X or 6X, when needed night vision goggles can be installed instead of optical glasses.

Marder can wade in water up to 1.5m deep and has accessories for diving 2.5m deep. Marder uses a 6-cylinder MTU MB Ea-500 diesel engine with a capacity of 600 horsepower, combined with a 4-speed Renk HSWL 194 gearbox with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears.

Carrying an oil reserve of 652 liters ensures the Marder travels for a distance of 500km, the first Marder version can run at speeds of up to 75km / h but later versions, because of increased armor protection, make the vehicle heavy. So the maximum speed is only 65km/h.

Marder uses a Diehl sprocket system with rubber “hooks”. The steering mechanism consists of 6 heavy-duty rubber wheels with a drive wheel at the top of the chain, a torsion bar suspension system plus a hydraulic shock absorber mounted on the first two wheels and the last two wheels of the chain.

Marder’s main firepower is a 20mm Rheinmetall MK20 Rh202 automatic cannon mounted on a two-man turret that can fire armor-piercing and explosive shells.

Next to it is a 7.62mm MG3 machine gun coaxially mounted with a 20mm cannon. The gun can be rotated 360° and the barrel elevation is from -17° to 65°.

In the first Marder and 1A1 versions, there is also a second MG3 machine gun mounted on the rear-mounted on a remote-controlled gun mount. The number of ammunition carried is 1,250 20mm rounds and 5,000 7.62mm bullets for the MG3.

And from the Marder 1A2 version onwards, the manufacturer has installed MILAN anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) on the turret to increase the ability to attack heavy vehicles.

Usually, a vehicle will carry 6 MILAN missiles.

Marder’s next firepower is the weapon of the soldiers inside the vehicle, each side of the vehicle has 2 eyelets for them to fire their weapons.

But only the Marder 1A1 and 1A2 versions have this ability because the Marder 1A3 model has removed the firing slot because the body has added extra armor and carried external storage containers. Next to it are six 76mm diversionary smoke grenade launchers.

Marder 1A3 is the most used version and it is in service with the German Army.

Adding armor, installing new night vision equipment, changing the doors, and the suspension system also makes the Marder 1A3 weigh up to 35 tons, becoming one of the heaviest armored vehicles in the world.

Version 1A4 differs from 1A3 only in that it uses a modern encrypted communication machine SEM 93.

The latest version of the 1A5 incorporates advanced anti-mine protection, but only a small number of these versions have been produced.

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