The first German Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles have been delivered to Greece, as part of a swap deal between the two countries to support Ukraine.
According to the Hellenic army, the appearance of the Marder 1A3 is part of a comprehensive plan to upgrade the army’s strength to deal with new threats in Europe. Based on the agreement between the two governments announced on May 31, Germany will hand over 40 Marder IFVs to Greece while Greece will deliver 40 Soviet-era BMP-1 IFVs to Ukraine. The first six Marders have already arrived in Greece, while another 34 in the next few weeks.
The Marder 1A3s delivered to Greece are highlighted by the recent outbreak of tension with Turkey over the Greek islands. Immediately after the necessary checks, the vehicles will be sent to the advanced units, in particular, to the Evros region on the border with Turkey, next to the Leopard 2A4 HEL.
Marder is an armored vehicle developed by Germany in the 1960s and in service with the German army since 1971. The vehicle is designed with steel armor capable of resisting small bullets and shell fragments, even Can withstand 20mm armor-piercing projectiles. The Marder 1A3 is an upgraded version of the Marder infantry fighting vehicle, with a new armor package providing protection against 30mm. The 1A3 upgrade program began in 1988, and the first upgraded vehicles were delivered to the German army in 1989.
The Marder 1A3 is fitted with a two-man turret with the commander on the right and the gunner on the left. The commander has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the right while the gunner has a similar hatch cover that opens to the rear. The main armament of the vehicle consists of one 20 mm Rheinmetall automatic cannon, with a 1,000 rds/min rate of fire with an effective firing range of 2,500 m against ground targets and 1,600m against air targets.
Second armament includes one 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun mounted to the right of the main armament. Two banks of three electrically operated 76 mm smoke grenade dischargers are mounted between the coaxial machine gun and the main gun. On the right side of the turret, there is also a MILAN anti-tank guided missile launcher station operated by the commander with one missile ready to fire and six inside the vehicles. The latest generation of MILAN missiles has a maximum range of 3,000 m.
Basically, the configuration of the Marder 1A3 IFV is similar to the previous version with the driver in front of the hull on the left side, the engine compartment to the right of the driver, a two-man turret mounted in the forward part of the roof, and the troop’s compartment at the rear. There is some modifications of the internal layout of the turret with ammunition feed, newly designed and improved seats, larger free space in the knee area, and an enlarged passage between the commander’s and gunner’s seats.
Marder 1A3 is equipped with a 600 hp MTU MB 833 6-cylinder diesel engine, for a maximum speed of up to 65 km/h, a range of 500 km. The vehicle can ford to a depth of 1.5 m without preparation or to 2.5 m with the aid of a kit. The Marder 1A3 can negotiate a gradient of 60% and side slopes of 30%. It can climb a vertical obstacle of 1 m and cross a trench of 2.5 m maximum.