Rheinmetall has integrated the latest and advanced MELLS antitank guided missile into the Marder 1A5 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) operated by the German Army.

At the end of 2016, Rheinmetall Landsysteme was awarded a contract by Germany’s Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw).

The contract sought the company to study the ways of incorporating the MELLS missile into the tried-and-tested IFV, which is expected to reach the end of its service life in the near future.

“Currently, the company is looking at different ways of integrating the MELLS missiles into the 1A3 and 1A5A1 versions of the Marder.”

Following the completion of the study phase, the German Armed Forces, Bundeswehr, ordered for 44 units of the MELLS retrofit kits, which were delivered in December last year.

The upgraded Marder 1A5 vehicle is now able to use the MELLS multirole-capable light antitank missile system, which boosts the combat effectiveness of the mechanised infantry units of the Bundeswehr.

Under a development contract, Rheinmetall used two sample vehicles to evaluate how oscillation due to movement of the vehicle and its resulting vibrations can affect the MELLS.

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The results obtained from the evaluation formed the basis for a modified storage concept that would help transport the launcher and missiles in the vehicle.

The project was carried out during the first half of last year.

Currently, the company is looking at different ways of integrating the MELLS missiles into the 1A3 and 1A5A1 versions of the Marder.