The Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) is based on a special tracked chassis originally developed in the early 1960s to create a common platform for a whole host of armored vehicles of which an IFV was only one component. Germans stressed emphasis on crew protection and mobility. This vehicle was designed to operate alongside Leopard 1 main battle tanks and follow them in combat. It had a similar protection level and mobility as the Leopard 1 tank.
First delivered in 1970, the Marder was produced by two companies, Rheinstahl and Mak, with final production totals reaching 3 111 in 1975 when the manufacture of the IFV ceased. Over the years the Marder underwent numerous updates resulting in a Marder 1A1, then 1A1A and 1A2, and finally with 1A3. All existing models were modified up to the 1A3 standard. Even though some vehicles were upgraded to further 1A4 and 1A5 standards, today the 1A3 is the most numerous version.
Currently, Germany operates only 390 of these IFVs. A large number of Marders is kept in storage. Recently this IFV has been exported to Chile (280 units), Indonesia (50), and Jordan (50).
The Marder 1, notably its definitive 1A3 version, was one of the largest and heaviest of all IFV (and probably the most expensive for that time). The Marder had a similar protection level of the Leopard 1 main battle tank. A contemporary Soviet BMP-1 IFV was significantly lighter, smaller, and could not offer a similar level of protection for its crew and dismounts.
The number of troops carried in the troop compartment at the rear is only 5 or 6. The original version could carry 6 dismounts, though between 1977 and 1979 a MILAN anti-tank guided missile launcher and reload missiles were fitted to all vehicles. This reduced passenger capacity to 5.
The Marder is a formidable vehicle almost resembling a light tank but armed with an externally mounted 20 mm cannon and coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun over a two-man turret. The hull superstructure armor is well sloped to add protection.
This IFV was powered by an MTU MB 833 Ea-500 diesel engine, developing 600 hp. The Marder was rather fast and had similar mobility to that of the Leopard 1 main battle tank.
Throughout its life, the Marder IFV has been the basis for several variants but only a few have been adopted for German Army service.
The Marder IFV is being replaced in German army service by the new Puma heavy infantry fighting vehicle.
Marder 1 with MILAN anti-tank guided missile launcher. Between 1977 and 1979 the MILAN launcher was fitted to all vehicles. Also, reload missiles were added to the troop compartment. This reduced passenger capacity from 6 to 5.
Marder 1A1 upgraded version. Its 20 mm canon had a dual-feed system enabling choice of ammunition. Most 1A1 IFVs were fitted with night vision equipment, including an image intensifier and thermal imager. This upgrade was applied to 674 vehicles between 1979 and 1982. There were another 350 upgraded vehicles that lacked thermal imager.
Marder 1A1A upgraded version. Essentially it was a Marder 1A1, but without any passive night vision equipment. A total of 1 112 vehicles were upgraded to this standard.
Marder 1A2 upgraded version. Suspension, fuel tanks, and cooling systems have been substantially modified. A new sighting system was fitted. Infrared searchlight was removed and thermal imagers were installed on all vehicles. All German Marder 1 vehicles were upgraded to the 1A2 standard between 1984 and 1991.
Marder 1A3 upgraded version of the Marder. It was produced between 1988 and 1998. The upgrade involved extra frontal armor, the full provision of night vision devices, changes to roof hatch arrangements, and other details such as the provision of stowage boxes along the sides. Also involved are suspension changes as the latest modifications increased the Marder 1A3 weight to some 35 tons, making it one of the largest and heaviest of all IFVs (and probably the most expensive for that time).
Marder 1A4 was Marder 1A3, fitted with SEM 93 cryptographic radio.
Marder 1A5 has improved mine protection. Additional anti-mine armor was fitted and the interior was completely remodeled in order to improve survivability against mine blasts. A total of 74 Marder 1A3 vehicles were upgraded to the 1A5 standard between 2003 and 2004.
Marder 1A5A1 latest version developed for deployment in Afghanistan. The vehicle was fitted with air conditioning, a jammer for protection against improvised explosive devices, and was fitted with multi-spectral camouflage. It was planned that a total of 35 IFVs will be upgraded to this standard in 2010 and 2011.
Roland air defense missile system, based on the same chassis while another has been converted to carry a battlefield surveillance radar antenna on a rising hydraulic arm.
Driver training vehicle, with the turret replaced by a fixed superstructure for the instructor.
VCTP infantry fighting vehicle, a simplified variant of the Marder for Argentina.
Marder CCV/Evolution. A recent upgrade of the Marder, developed by Rheinmetall. The vehicle has been extensively upgraded and massively up-armored. It is intended for export. Originally it was tailored to meet Canadian armed forces requirements. It was first revealed in 2012. The Marder Evolution is being proposed as a cheaper alternative to the Puma.
|Country of origin||Germany|
|Personnel||5 – 6 men|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Main gun||20 mm cannon|
|ATGW||1 x MILAN launcher|
|Machine guns||1 x 7.62 mm|
|Engine||MTU MB 833 Ea-500 diesel|
|Engine power||600 hp|
|Maximum road speed||65 km/h|
|Vertical step||1 m|
|Fording||2 m (with preparation)|
- Rheinmetall Defence Displays Two Marder Upgrades
- “Verbesserter Schützenpanzer MARDER ausgeliefert“. BWB.org. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
- Military Balance 2016, p. 101
- Marder, Lapis Baja One Stop Services
- Indonesia takes delivery of first Leopard 2A4 tanks and Marder armored vehicles from Germany – Armyrecognition.com, 25 September 2013
- Najib, Mohammed; Binnie, Jeremy (14 December 2016). “Germany donates Marder 1 IFVs to Jordan”. IHS Jane’s. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
- Binnie, Jeremy (13 December 2017). “Jordan to get more Marder IFVs”. IHS Jane’s 360. Archived from the original on 18 December 2017. Retrieved 18 December 2017.
- Freundeskreis der Panzergrenadiertruppe e.V. und Lachen Helfen bauen Wasserspeicher in Afghanistan Freundeskreis der Panzergrenadiertruppe e.V (in German)
- Neuer Panzer für die Truppe (in German)
- Scraven, David (November 2012). “Der Kampf um Quatliam”. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
- Jane’s Armour and Artillery 2005–2006