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Rheinmetall has received another contract from Bundeswehr (German armed forces) to deliver Saphir 2.6 MK thermal imaging aiming devices for Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs).

The contract was awarded as part of an ongoing programme to extend the service life of the Marder fleet by upgrading the vehicles.

Under the €27m order, Rheinmetall will deliver a total of 260 equipment kits in 2022 and 2023. Deliveries will include ancillary accessories and additional devices for stockpiling.

Developed by Rheinmetall Electronics, the Saphir 2.6 MK device will replace the existing thermal imaging aiming devices on the IFVs to enhance reconnaissance and target engagement capabilities.

The device was specifically designed for the Marder IFV. The core technology of the product is already used by Bundeswehr and other armies.

Several sub-contractors in Germany will also be appointed to deliver various works under the contract.

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By GlobalData

The latest Saphir 2.6 MK generation is equipped with a high-resolution detector to increase observation range and reconnaissance quality.

It also features an advanced image processing software to ensure optimal performance under different operating conditions.

According to the company, the addition of the Saphir 2.6 MK will help the vehicle in maintaining combat readiness.

Last month, Rheinmetall was contracted to deliver Spectus II night observation device for the Marder vehicles.

The Spectus II devices combine the image from a residual light amplifier camera with the one produced by a thermal imaging device to improve visibility.

The German mechanised infantry units are expected to use the Marder IFV for several more years.