Rheinmetall has been awarded a €27 million contract to extend service life of German Army’s Marder infantry fighting vehicles.
The contract includes supply of advanced Saphir 2.6 MK thermal imaging aiming devices. They will replace existing obsolete thermal imaging aiming devices used for reconnaissance and target engagement, the company announced today.
A total of 260 equipment kits will be delivered in 2022 and 2023. The scope of delivery includes extra devices for stockpiling as well as related accessories for use by the troops.
Rheinmetall will be fabricating the thermal imaging aiming devices with the aid of numerous subcontractors entirely in Germany. To cite just one example, state-of-the-art components from the company AIM Infrarot-Module GmbH of Heilbronn – a Rheinmetall affiliate.
The Saphir 2.6 MK (MK: Marder configuration) was specially developed for the Marder IFV. The Bundeswehr and other armies already utilize the core technology on a large scale, meaning that it can soon be used in the Marder too. In turn, this will result in synergies with regard to procurement and operation.
Importantly, the latest Saphir 2.6 MK generation will improve the observation range and round-the-clock reconnaissance quality. This has to do with the greater resolution of the detector and display technology. Together with integration of the MELLS multirole lightweight guided missile system and the new Marder driver's night vision device, this technology will result in tactical advantages for troops deployed in harm's way, both day and night.