Indonesia is operating a fleet of 50 Marder 1A3s acquired from Germany in 2013.

Despite being an island nation, Indonesia is among the countries possessing quite powerful ground forces in Southeast Asia. The country’s combat vehicles are mainly of Western origin and partly domestically produced. In terms of infantry fighting vehicles, Indonesia is operating a fleet of 50 Marder 1A3s acquired from Germany in 2013. In addition, Indonesia is also operating 103 Leopard 2A4s also from Germany.

The Marder is a line of infantry fighting vehicles designed and manufactured by Rheinmetall Landsysteme, and used by the German ground forces from the 1970s to the present. Developed as part of Germany’s new armored vehicle program, the Marder is indeed a successful IFV design, with various upgraded versions. The Indonesian Marder 1A3 was an upgraded version in 1988. The vehicle is the current standard IFV used by the German armed forces but it will be replaced by the new Puma IFV in the next few years.

The Marder 1A3 retains the design of its predecessor, with the driver seat at the 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.

The protection upgrade package helps the Marder 1A3 to withstand 30 mm ammunition. Previous versions of the Marder IFV were fitted with two firing ports on each side of the hull but the Marder 1A3 does not have firing ports due to an extra layer of armor and outside storage boxes mounted on each side of the hull.

The six infantrymen are seated in the troop compartment at the rear of the hull, three down each side facing outwards. One more seat is available at the rear area. The troops can leave and enter in the vehicle thanks to a power-operated ramp at the rear of the hull that opens downwards. New storage boxes are provided along the sides of the upper part of the hull.

The Marder 1A3’s firepower is provided by a two-man turret, fitted with a 20 mm Rheinmetall MK 20 Rh202 automatic cannon, which has 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. The auxiliary armament is a 7.62 mm MG3 coaxial machine gun mounted to the right of the main weapon. The Marder 1A3 is also equipped with MILAN-guided anti-tank weapons, located in a launcher to the right of the turret. The latest generation of MILAN missiles has a maximum range of 3,000 meters.

The Marder 1A3’s maneuverability is provided by a liquid-cooled MTU MB 833 Ea-500 6-cylinder diesel engine that produces 600 hp at 2,200 rpm, for a top speed of up to 65 km/h with a maximum cruise range of 500 km. The 1A3 version uses a new improved suspension including the installation of reinforced torsion bars, a hydraulic duplex brake system, change of gear ratio of the lateral final drives to maintain high mobility. The Marder can ford to a depth of 1.5 m without preparation or to 2.5 m with the aid of a kit.

At Indo Defense 2016, Rheinmetall offered Indonesia the Marder RI medium tank. The tank used the Marder 1A3 hull, with the three-crew Leonardo HITFACT turret armed with an OTO-Melara 105 mm gun and two 7.62 mm machine guns used in coaxial and roof-mounted positions. It is not clear if Indonesia has reached any agreement yet. The country currently operates 18 Harimau medium tanks produced in cooperation with Turkey.


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