The German federal parliament has approved 425 million euros for the acquisition of new logistics vehicles and thermal imaging sights for its fleet of Marder infantry fighting vehicles.
The upgrade of the ageing Marder IFVs is part of a wider contract with Rehinmetall announced earlier this year. The company will be replacing the drivetrain, installing a new powerpack in all of the vehicles. Additionally, the vehicles will be receiving a new driver vision system, a thermal imaging aiming device and a fire detection and extinguisher system.
The Bundeswehr intends to purchase 244 new thermal imaging targets for the Marder. The IFV has been in service since 1971 and has been repeatedly modernized and adapted to meet current requirements. It is currently being replaced by the new Puma infantry fighting vehicle, but replacement will take some time. Until then, the Marder will continue to serve the Panzergrenadiers as a combat vehicle.
The purchase of another 1,000 trucks as part of the “Unprotected Transport Vehicles” project will cost 398 million euros. Of the thousand vehicles ordered, 675 have a five-ton payload, while the remaining 325 have a load-carrying capacity of 15 tons. Starting in January 2020, the trucks will be built at the Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmbH (RMMV) plant in Vienna, with delivery to be complete by the end of the year.
Featuring a basic military configuration, these off-road-capable vehicles will be available to support the Bundeswehr’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) 2023 mission.
The approved contract includes the acquisition of swap bodies that will accelerate the loading and offloading for the logistics vehicles and improve the flexibility of the troops.