Rheinmetall has secured a €110m contract from Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, to carry out measures to extend the service life of Marder infantry fighting vehicle.

The drivetrain of 71 Marder 1A5 vehicles will be replaced to maintain the tracked vehicle’s operational readiness.

Rheinmetall will deliver a total of 78 conversion kits, as well as vehicle tool kits and specialised tools to Bundeswehr from 2020 to 2023.

Additional services will include logistical support, a limited store of spare parts, as well as training and instruction.

The service life extension is anticipated to maintain and expand the capabilities of the Marder, initially fielded by the Bundeswehr in 1971.

As an initial step in replacing the drivetrain, all of the vehicles will be equipped with new powerpack to improve the tried-and-tested vehicle’s engine output from 600 to more than 750 HP.

The powerpack will also enhance the vehicle’s responsiveness.

Earlier, the Marder fleet underwent significant upgrade as part of a comprehensive development contract.

Recently, the MELLS multirole lightweight antitank guided missile system integrated into various versions of the Marder vehicle.

Additionally, a driver vision system, a thermal imaging aiming device and fire detection and extinguisher system, were ordered.

The battle-tested Marder will serve as a significant asset of Germany’s mechanised infantry units for more years.

The armed forces of Chile, Indonesia and Jordan are also using the infantry fighting vehicle.

Recently, Rheinmetall received a contract to supply an additional 1,000 trucks to Bundeswehr. The logistic vehicles procurement is valued approximately €400m ($445m).