Under its growing list of platforms earmarked for Ukraine, Germany has added 20 additional 1A3 Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs).

Among the country’s Ukrainian military assistance – worth €28bn ($30.4bn) since the end of March 2024 – Germany has already donated 90 Marder units with ammunition and spares from industry and its own stocks.

This latest order was placed last month and has a value in the mid double-digit million euro range; the delivery of this new lot is scheduled within 2024, according to the German supplier Rheinmetall.

The Bundeswehr, the Federal Armed Forces of Germany, have more than 345 Puma IFVs in active service, according to GlobalData intelligence. This new fleet, acquired between 2015-19, represents the latest generation of this type of combat vehicle. In the mean time, the Army will gradually phase out its 757 ageing Marder 1A3 units that were procured in the early 1970s. In addition, a second lot of more than 50 additional Pumas were ordered in 2023.

Rheinmetall acquired the 1A3 Marder IFVs from Germany and began overhauling them for immediate deployment at the Bundeswehr’s own expense back in spring 2022. The corresponding work has since been underway at Rheinmetall’s locations in Unterluess and Kassel.

Marder is a tracked armoured vehicle developed by Rheinmetall and was introduced was introduced into the Bundeswehr in May 1971. 

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It received extensive upgrades over the years and remains one of the main weapons of the mechanised infantry units of the German Army with high level tactical mobility and firepower, as well as the ability to transport troops in high-risk areas of operation.

Marder has a length of 6.79 metres (m), a width of 3.24m, a height of 2.98m and an overall combat weight of 28.5 tonnes (t). Although, the 1A3 variant weighs 33.5t while the 1A5 and 1A5A1 variants weigh 37.4t and 38.1t respectively.

The Marder hull is welded steel capable of protecting personnel from up to 20-millimetres (mm) and 25mm armour-piercing discarding sabots fired from a range of 200m.