German army Marder 1A3 on public display in 2012.
Source: synaxonag - © CC BY 2.0
The Marder is a late Cold War era mechanized infantry fighting vehicles of German origin. It was designed in the 1960's to replace the HS-30 in German service, which showed poor performance. Marder is German for "marten" and fits in with the tradition of naming armored vehicles after cat-like animals. The Marder was continuously upgraded over time and was one of the main combat vehicles opposing the Soviet forces in Europe during the Cold War.
The Marder shares many components with the Jagdpanzer Kanone and Jaguar, from which the trracked chassis was derived. The layout is conventional with the engine at the front and the driver on the left. In the middle the recessed turret is fitted which houses the gunner and the commander. The troop compartment at the rear has six seats facing outwards. The troop exit the vehicle via the rear ramp, which also features a door. Over time the armament, radios, night vision and armor package has been continuously updated.
The Marder is fitted with a recessed two man turret, which almost classifies as an overhead weapon system. A 20mm Rh-202 autocannon is fitted. At first these were single feed, but the dual feed option was added and allows for easy switching between armor piercing and high explosive rounds. A MG3 machine gun is mounted coaxially. From his hatch the commander is able to fire the pedestal mounted manpack Milan anti-tank missile. Early models had a remote controlled MG3 at the troop compartment. Marder 1A5 is slated to receive the Spike anti-tank guided missile.
The steel armor protects the crew against everything up to and including 14.5mm rounds fired from point blank range. All Marders were subsequently upgraded with additional armor to protect against bomblets and the 30x165mm rounds fired by the BMP-2 over the frontal arc. The latest upgrades improve survivability against mines. An NBC system is fitted, as well as six smoke grenade launchers.
The tracked chassis makes the Marder very mobile, which is necessary as the Marder was to accompany the Leopard 1 and 2 main battle tanks on the battlefield. A 600 hp turbocharged diesel engine provides propulsion. The Marder is not amphibious. Various upgrades have increased the weight and lowered the good power to weight ratio to average. A small batch of Marder 1A5 is to receive a more powerful engine in 2023.
The main user of the Marder is the German army. A reduced number remains in use today. Recently surplus vehicles were sold to Chile, Indonesia and Greece. A batch of vehicles is also to be delivered to Ukraine. The Marder has seen combat service in Afghanistan in use with German forces.
The original Marder 1 came in various versions, each with a number of minor improvements. Over time all Marder 1's were upgraded to a single type called the Marder 1A2. The upgrades include dual feed for the 20mm autocannon, night vision equipment, improved radios, improved sighting system, removal of the remote controlled MG3 over the crew compartment, remodeled interior and improved suspension.
The Marder 1A3 is a major upgrade over the previous models, being applied from 1988 to 1998. The armor has been improved significantly and external stowage has been added. This makes the firing ports no longer useable. The Marder 1A4 is similar to the A3, but has been fitted with a cryptographic radio.
A small batch of 74 Marder 1A3 has been upgraded to the A5 standard from 2003 to 2004. This latest version of the Marder has improved mine protection and a remodeled interior which provides a much better protection against shock, blast and spalling. A batch of 35 A5 vehicles received air conditioning and IED jammers from 2010 to 2011. These are known as Marder 1A5A1.
The 20mm Rh-202 autocannon is the main armament of the Marder. It is housed in the overhead weapon system. The dual feed version of the Rh-202 is used, although a batch of early production vehicles had the single feed variant until harmonized to the Marder 1A2 variant.
The Marder was upgraded with a pintle mounted Milan anti-tank missile at the commander's hatch. The commander is partially exposed when firing and guiding the missile towards its target.
A 7.62mm MG3A1 machine gun is mounted as coaxial armament. Early models had a second MG3A1 in a rearward facing overhead mount over the rear hatch.
Source: TNI-AD (Indonesian army)
Copyright: Public domain
Source: Unknown author
Copyright: Copyright lies with original owner
Source: US Army
Copyright: Public domain
Copyright: Public domain
Source: Boevaya mashina
Copyright: CC BY-SA 4.0
Copyright: CC BY-SA 3.0
The Marder was developed to replace the SPz 12-3 variant of the HS-30, which was plagued by automotive issues.
The Marder chassis was also used for the Roland system in German service.
The Jaguar tank destroyer uses a chassis with many of the same components as the Marder.
The Marder and Soviet BMP-1, introduced a few years earlier, are seen as the first true mechanized infantry combat vehicles.
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