Rheinmetall has won a €110 million ($122 million) contract to extend the service life of Bundeswehr's Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs).
The contract was awarded to the company in December 2019. In order to maintain the operational readiness of the tracked vehicle, the drivetrain of 71 Marder 1A5 vehicles will be replaced. During the 2020-2023 timeframe, Rheinmetall will be supplying the German military with a total of 78 conversion kits as well as vehicle tool kits and special tools, logistical support, an initial store of spare parts, and training and instruction. The service life extension will maintain and expand the capabilities of the Marder, which the Bundeswehr first fielded in 1971.
"The Marder is set to serve as an important asset of Germany’s mechanized infantry units for several more years, even though the Bundeswehr is currently taking delivery of the last of 350 PUMA IFVs intended to replace it," the company said.
As a first step in replacing the drivetrain in Marder, a new powerpack will be installed in all of the vehicles, which will boost the Marder’s engine output from 600 to over 750 HP. The new powerpack will enhance the vehicle’s responsiveness.
Under a comprehensive development contract, the Marder fleet has already undergone significant modernization. For example, the new MELLS (SPIKE) multirole lightweight anti-tank guided missile system has recently been integrated into various versions of the Marder IFV, while a new driver vision system, a thermal imaging aiming device and a fire detection and extinguisher system have also been ordered. Series contracts have already been awarded for parts of this service life extension, with performance upgrades now reaching the troops.
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