German company Rheinmetall has completed the delivery of the first batch of Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) to the Hellenic Armed Forces.

The IFVs were delivered to Greece as part of an international backfill activity initiated by the German government.

The first batch of vehicles was shipped on 11 October from the company’s facility in Unterlüß, Germany, to Greece. 

Following the delivery, the new Marder 1A3 vehicles were displayed during a Hellenic Armed Forces’ parade in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 28 October.

In exchange for the new fighting vehicles, Greece has committed to deliver its Soviet design infantry fighting vehicles, as well as other associated military equipment, to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

Apart from the IFVs, the company, along with the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr), is also providing an ammunition package and a spare parts package to Greece. In addition, it will also provide integrated service packages, comprising related training and support services.

All the deliveries under this programme are expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Rheinmetall stated that the Marder vehicles being given to Greece belonged to the German Armed Forces’ old stocks. 

Since spring 2022, Rheinmetall Landsysteme has been repairing and overhauling the IFVs at its Unterlüß facility. This work has all been carried out by the company at its own expenses.

Through this backfill procedure, Germany, in close association with its European neighbours and Nato partners, delivers military equipment from former Soviet production to Ukraine and, in exchange, receives available systems from the West.

Earlier this month, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht announced that a new weapons repair centre is being established in Slovakia to repair old weapons systems and military equipment for the Ukrainian forces.