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Happy Birthday!

50 years of Marder armored personnel carriers


Tried and tested weapon system of the Panzer Grenadiers

High tactical mobility, impressive firepower and the ability to transport troops quickly and safely to highly dangerous areas of operation make the Marder armored personnel carrier an outstanding weapon system.

Its IFV design has been tried and tested in practice: the engine compartment is in the front, the turret is integrated in the front part of the vehicle, the crew compartment in the rear with a large rear ramp for getting on and off quickly. Maintenance-friendly, the marten is specially designed for easy handling and maximum reliability. Rheinmetall offers numerous upgrade options to improve the level of protection, to increase firepower, to extensive reconnaissance equipment.

Handover of the first series vehicle to the troops on May 7, 1971 at MaK in Kiel.  The vehicles did not yet have chain aprons.  Source: MaK

Handover of the first series vehicle to the troops on May 7, 1971 at MaK in Kiel. The vehicles did not yet have chain aprons. Source: MaK

On May 7, 1971, the first series vehicles of the Marder armored personnel carrier were officially handed over to the troops. This happened with simultaneous ceremonies in Kassel and Kiel - the headquarters of the manufacturing companies Thyssen-Henschel and Krupp MaK, which have been part of Rheinmetall since 1999 and 2001 respectively. When designing the armored personnel carrier, it was assumed at the time that the Marder, in conjunction with the Leopard1 battle tank, would make a decisive contribution to national defense in the army. The real course of the story should bring completely different challenges with it.

During the “Cold War” only maneuvering operations took place, which, however, underscored the credible defense readiness of the NATO partner, the Federal Republic of Germany. In the meantime, the German Armed Forces have not been using a Leopard1 for a long time. The same applies to other contemporaries of the marten's military history, including the Luchs reconnaissance vehicle, the Starfighter F-104 fighter aircraft, and the BO105 and Bell UH-1D helicopters. The marten, on the other hand, had to prove itself as part of the Quick Reaction Force in firefights in the areas of Kunduz and Mazar-e Sharif in Afghanistan and is still used in the German armed forces today.


Historical: The development of the prototypes

Finding the right concept


After examining the first vehicles, the army's command staff realized that the restrictive requirements had to be abandoned in order to enable a more optimal AFV concept. In addition to the elimination of the requirement for a maximum construction height of 1,890mm, the crew strength was also reduced from twelve to ten men.

Prototype RU261 from 1964 with a compact engine block in the bow - but still with a one-man turret.  The rifle squad had two large flaps in the fighting compartment roof for the mounted fight.  Source: Ruhrstahl AG

Prototype RU261 from 1964 with a compact engine block in the bow - but still with a one-man turret. The rifle squad had two large flaps in the fighting compartment roof for the mounted fight. Source: Ruhrstahl AG

In October 1962, the development contracts for seven new prototypes of the group vehicle were signed with the Ruhrstahl (Hanomag) and MOWAG companies. The Henschel company did not take part in this competition, as this company focused primarily on the development of further prototypes of the variants Jagdpanzer Kanone, mortar carrier, ambulance (KrKW) and rocket launcher. The cooperation with the company MOWAG was previously declared terminated due to patent disputes.

A new conceptual approach took place for the second generation prototypes. In order to allow a large rear access, the complete engine block of the RU vehicles has now been accommodated in the bow - this also means that the articulated shaft connections, which are prone to failure, are no longer necessary. The one-man turret DL-RH3, newly designed by Rheinmetall, was also available for the vehicles, with a 20mm machine gun (MK) and an axially parallel machine gun (MG).


After the commander was initially placed to the left of the turret, his place in the later prototypes slipped directly behind the driver - this created space to the left of the turret to accommodate an anti-tank missile system (Bofors Anti-Tank Missile / BANTAM) become. The new concept led to an enlargement of the vehicles, the combat weight rose to approx. 26 tons.

As part of the troop attempt, the accommodation of the commander outside the tower was criticized, as this severely impaired visibility and command ability. Since the vehicles with torsion bar suspension showed unsatisfactory driving dynamics in the field, hydropower suspension was installed in the RU264. From this one promised better driving characteristics; After almost five years of testing, the tests were discontinued due to insufficient reliability and stability of the spring elements.

Size comparison of the prototype RU262 (right) with the IFV HS30 (here with a 106mm light gun).  The RU262 was a good ten tons heavier than the HS30.  Source: KTS II / III Munster

Size comparison of the prototype RU262 (right) with the IFV HS30 (here with a 106mm light gun). The RU262 was a good ten tons heavier than the HS30. Source: KTS II / III Munster

Additional requirements require new concept solutions
Prototype RU362 from 1966 with retrofitted two-man turret and crown-mounted MK20mm and rear MG.  In the meantime, four smaller hatches have replaced the two large folding hatches in the fighting compartment roof.  Source: Ruhrstahl AG

Prototype RU362 from 1966 with retrofitted two-man turret and crown-mounted MK20mm and rear MG. In the meantime, four smaller hatches have replaced the two large folding hatches in the fighting compartment roof. Source: Ruhrstahl AG

Due to the further increase in weight to approx. 27.5 tons, the new, turbocharged engine mb 833 Ea500 with 442kW nominal power should be installed in the new prototypes; all vehicles received a torsion bar sprung 6-roller drive. At the end of 1964, corresponding development contracts were concluded with Rheinstahl AG Henschel and MOWAG for the construction of a total of twelve (!) Third-generation prototypes.

In 1965/66 the vehicles were subjected to a technical test and a subsequent troop test. During the manufacture of the vehicles, the customer made additional demands: The vehicles should now be equipped with a mount for a rear MG.

The pre-production vehicles
Prototype RU362 from 1966 with retrofitted two-man turret and crown-mounted MK20mm and rear MG.  In the meantime, four smaller hatches have replaced the two large folding hatches in the fighting compartment roof.  Source: Ruhrstahl AG

Prototype RU362 from 1966 with retrofitted two-man turret and crown-mounted MK20mm and rear MG. In the meantime, four smaller hatches have replaced the two large folding hatches in the fighting compartment roof. Source: Ruhrstahl AG

After all, in October 1966, the model selection was made in favor of the RU vehicles. The MOWAG company dropped out because their developments did not, among other things, fit into the logistical concept of the vehicle family. The evaluation of technical testing and troop trials of the last prototypes was incorporated into the design status of the ten pre-series vehicles in 1967. The use of the new HSWL194 gearbox developed by the Renk company now enabled a smooth bow front, which could improve visibility for the driver.

The integration of a guided missile system was postponed until later with the MILAN (Missile d'Infanterie léger antichar) a missile of the second generation with semi-automatic guidance should be available.


All pre-production vehicles now had a two-man turret with weapons mounted on apexes and a total of four spherical panels on the tub side. The pre-series vehicles now reached a combat weight of 27.5 t (without aprons). In the period 1968/69 the pre-series vehicles were examined intensively. Even if the vehicles conceptually corresponded to the requirements of the troops, there were still considerable deficiencies in individual assemblies. Among other things, this was a consequence of the constantly increasing weight, which led to increased failures in the areas of power transmission, brakes and running gear.


Of the numerous planned family vehicles, only the anti-aircraft missile tank Roland and a prototype of the TÜR radar carrier (low-level surveillance radar) were later realized. The variants planned for the marten family were built on the chassis of the M113 in the 1970s, which as a basic vehicle only cost around 35% of a marten. The Marder IFV was intended to be used until the early 1990s.


Further combat value enhancement measures

Remarkably, even after intensive testing and detailed troop attempts, the user repeatedly asked for functional improvements. The adaptation of the combat value to the current threat situation also required constant model updates. The combat value enhancement measures (KWS) carried out so far are listed as keywords:


Adaptation of the MILAN weapon system with four guided missiles on board; the number of seats was reduced to 6 or 7 men

SPz Marder1A1 with retrofitted MILAN weapon system and heat location receiver (WOE) on the support arm of the shooting light.  The vehicles have now also received chain aprons.  Source: Author archive

SPz Marder1A1 with retrofitted MILAN weapon system and heat location receiver (WOE) on the support arm of the shooting light. The vehicles have now also received chain aprons. Source: Author archive

1. KWS to Marder1A1

Including: Installation of passive night vision devices of the 1st generation (residual light amplifier) with heat location receiver (passive night target and observation device with heat location receiver / PNZG WOE), double belt feeder (DGZ) for the MK, reinforcement of the directional gearbox

SPz Marder1A2 with retrofitted thermal imaging device on the gunner's area.  The rear mount has been omitted.  Source: Thyssen-Henschel AG

SPz Marder1A2 with retrofitted thermal imaging device on the gunner's area. The rear mount has been omitted. Source: Thyssen-Henschel AG

2. KWS to Marder1A2

among other things: conversion of 1,462 vehicles to thermal imaging devices (WBG-X) for the gunner, or use of the Milan infrared adapter MIRA for the MILAN weapon system; No rear mount, conversion to SEM 80/90 radio, introduction of flecktarn paint

SPz Marder when passing through a waterhole quickly.  Due to the bow shape, most of the water masses are thrown forward.  Source: WTD 41

SPz Marder when passing through a waterhole quickly. Due to the bow shape, most of the water masses are thrown forward. Source: WTD 41

3. KWS to Marder1A3

among other things: equipping 2,097 vehicles with additional armor for the turret and hull (protection against MK30mm), redesign of ammunition storage and supply; Relocation of the turret machine gun from the weapon housing to the left side of the turret; Attachment of storage boxes while at the same time dispensing with the use of the spherical panels; Reduction of the roof hatches for the rear fighting compartment from four to three; Installation of reinforced torsion bars, new seats for the commander and gunner, new tailgate with larger loading volume, weight increase to 33.5 t.


KWS to Marder1A4:

Use of this version as a mobile command post (battalion commander); thus additional equipment of 24 vehicles with SEM93 radio.

Marder1A5 vehicle at handover on December 18, 2002 at Rheinmetall in Kassel.  Due to the special mine protection measures, additional storage space had to be created outside with three boxes.  Source: Author archive

Marder1A5 vehicle at handover on December 18, 2002 at Rheinmetall in Kassel. Due to the special mine protection measures, additional storage space had to be created outside with three boxes. Source: Author archive

4. KWS zum Marder1A5

Retrofitting of 74 vehicles with protection against blast and projectile forming mines; Change of the stowage concept, clearing of the combat area floor, attachment of the seat frame to the tub roof; Installation of a GPS receiver (PLGR), installation of reinforced brakes and powerful fan pumps, new chain aprons (armored steel), wider chain (500mm), replacement of the truncated cone springs with hydraulic end stops, installation of three additional storage boxes, lining of the fighting area with an anti-spall liner, Weight increase to 37.4t.

SPz Marder1A5A1 with retrofitted room cooling system in the rear of the vehicle.  Source: Rheinmetall

SPz Marder1A5A1 with retrofitted room cooling system in the rear of the vehicle. Source: Rheinmetall

KWS to Marder1A5A1

Equipment of 35 vehicles including a room cooling system and equipment with multispectral camouflage equipment (MMT), electronic protective equipment CG-12, protective structure on the combat compartment roof in the hatch area, combat weight: approx. 38.1 t.

Current activities: The service life extension

Of the 382 vehicles currently in the Bundeswehr, almost 300 martens are expected to be kept in use by the armored infantry troops by the end of the 2020s. In addition, there are other driving school tanks, test vehicles, etc. From 2016, it was decided to carry out a further program to extend the service life and to clear up obsolescence. The packages of measures were initially commissioned as prototype developments and then piece by piece as series conversions. This service life extension (NDV) program comprises the following individual measures:


  • From 2016 development and sample integration of the anti-tank weapon system multi-role light guided missile system (PzAbwWA MELLS) in the Marder1A5 AFV.
  • From 2017 delivery of conversion kits to equip the PzAbwWA MELLS in the AFV Marder1A5 fleet (already implemented in 35 vehicles) as a replacement for the obsolete MILAN weapons systems
  • Beginning in 2017 of the program to
    extend the service life of the Marder AFV with the development and sample equipment - the PzAbwWA MELLS in the remaining Marder variants,
    - a new fire warning and extinguishing system for the Marder1A3 family,
    - a new thermal imaging target device (WBG) as a replacement the obsolete WBG-X,
    - a new driver vision system in the variants of the A3 family (SPECTUS II),
    - small components for clearing up obsolescence. In addition, a study was commissioned with the aim of replacing the drive train of the MARDER1A5 AFV and a comprehensive obsolescence elimination.
  • From 2018, the NDV program was expanded to include the construction of a sample vehicle with a new drive train.
  • From 2019, development and sample integration of a battle management system in the various Marder AFVs for the implementation of a complete information and data network based on a common and consistent management information system / battle management system (FüInfoSys / BMS) and radio and command equipment that has already been introduced, and so on To improve the degree of digitization of the NATO spearhead VJTF (Very High Readiness Joint Task Force) provided by the Bundeswehr in 2023.
  • From 2019 delivery of conversion kits to equip the fire warning and extinguishing system (FWLA) developed as part of the NDV program.
  • From 2021, delivery of conversion kits to equip the new driver vision system SPECTUS II. This is a system in which the images from a residual light intensifier camera and a thermal imaging device can be combined. A rearview camera with a separate infrared headlight is also installed at the rear.
  • From 2021 delivery of conversion kits to equip the new thermal imaging target device SAPHIR 2.6MK (a development by Rheinmetall), as well as the delivery of conversion kits to equip the new drive train in the 71 vehicles of the 1A5 family. The new engine is the basic D956 engine with an output of 563kW; the transmission is adapted to the higher level of performance; In addition, digitized engine electronics will be installed.



Foreign missions of the Marder SPZ

AFV Marder1A3 in action with the KFOR troops in Kosovo.  Source: Author archive

AFV Marder1A3 in action with the KFOR troops in Kosovo. Source: Author archive

During the invasion of the former Yugoslavia by the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) on June 12, 1999, the Marder armored personnel carrier (version 1A3) advanced side by side with the Leopard2 battle tank and the Luchs reconnaissance vehicle. After that, the Marder SPz was mainly used for security purposes. The main tasks were to secure mobile, temporary checkpoints and to monitor rooms.

The marten was characterized by mobility even in difficult terrain, the on-board machine gun (BMK) used for security and surveillance, as well as transport capacity for security personnel and additional material. In addition, there were other tasks such as escorting convoy and patrol.

From the beginning of 2003, the vehicles were replaced with the 1A5 version due to the prevailing mine threat.

As part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan, the first Marder1A5A1 were added to the German contingent at the end of 2007. A total of 35 Marder AFVs were deployed in Afghanistan in Mazar-e Sharif and from 2009 in Kunduz to reinforce the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) association. Here, too, the Marder AFV proved its worth.

AFV Marder1A5 in action with the ISAF troops in Afghanistan.  Source: Bundeswehr

AFV Marder1A5 in action with the ISAF troops in Afghanistan. Source: Bundeswehr

His mere presence led to a significantly increased feeling of security in his own and allied forces as well as to great respect on the part of the enemy. For tactical reasons, the Marder AFV was often used in mixed groups together with wheeled vehicles, such as the Dingo type. In addition to security tasks and as an armored reserve, the Marder IFV often performed the task of flanking operations here. Because of the bulky equipment, the combat area was usually only occupied by a maximum of four soldiers. The open, partially cut-through terrain in northern Afghanistan was very convenient for the Marder IFV; moats and mud walls typical of the country, so-called compounds, were usually not an obstacle.

Problems caused the Marder SPZ only by locally superior enemy operating from ambush (e.g. with large IED booby traps or bundled fire with anti-tank weapons) as well as the great heat. In the rear of the fighting compartment, peak temperatures of up to 80 ° C were measured. Therefore, all 35 Marder AFVs used were equipped with combat room cooling systems from 2010 onwards.


Export customers


The manufacturer naturally tried to place the Marder SPz on the international market. There was considerable initial success here when Thyssen-Henschel managed to export the Tanque Argentino Mediano (TAM) light tank to Argentina in 1977. This was followed as family vehicles by the armored personnel carrier Vehiculo de Combate Transporte de Personal VCTP, the mortar carrier, the command tank, the self-propelled howitzer, the ambulance, the armored recovery vehicle and a rocket launcher (sometimes only prototypes). With this, the marten family was realized in Argentina, which was not used in the armed forces. Further sales of Marten vehicles to South American countries and Thailand did not take place, mainly for political reasons. Attempts by the manufacturer in the 1990s to bring the Marder AFV to Switzerland orSelling to Greece was also unsuccessful. Greece had a keen interest in purchasing 422 copies in 2009. Ultimately, this project failed due to funding.

AFV Marder1A3 in service with the Chilean army.  Source: Author archive

AFV Marder1A3 in service with the Chilean army. Source: Author archive

In 2008 Chile decided to buy 200 Marder1A3 and seven driving school tanks from the Bundeswehr (long-term storage / LZL). In 2011, a further thirty vehicles were added to serve as spare parts donors. In Chile, the vehicle is subject to particularly high loads when it is used at an altitude of up to 4,300 meters above sea level and outside temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius. The extremely high volume of dust requires intensive and careful maintenance of all filters.

AFV Marder1A3 in service with the Indonesian armed forces.  Source: Wikimedia

AFV Marder1A3 in service with the Indonesian armed forces. Source: Wikimedia

From 2015, 42 Marder1A3 AFVs from Rheinmetall's company portfolio were sold to Indonesia.

Furthermore, between 2017 and 2020, a total of 75 Marder1A3 AFVs including two driving school tanks and a spare parts package were given to Jordan as part of an “upgrading aid” from the federal government.


Current user countries


Replacement planning and the future


In 1984, as part of the “Kampfwagen 90” program, the Tactical Demand (TaF) for the development of a successor to the Marder IFV was issued. The development began very promisingly; After only seven years, a prototype for troop tests was made available to the consumer. Then the turnaround in security policy in Europe and the massive cut in the defense budget (“peace dividend”) in 1992 brought this promising development to an end. Another attempt to develop a new AFV failed in 2001 due to extremely high military demands regarding protection.

The start of the third development program was subject to severely restrictive parameters due to the demand that the future IFVs could be transported by air in a relatively small transport aircraft. This ultimately resulted in an overall system optimized to meet these requirements, with modular protection and an unmanned tower. The latter required a rethink for the troops, especially with a view to classic leadership skills.

In the 50th anniversary year of the marten it can be said that on March 18, 2021, the inspector of the army declared the tactical combat capability of the Puma armored personnel carrier in the modernized S1 version, which will be used by the NATO spearhead Very High Readiness Joint Task Force VJTF 2023 provided by the Bundeswehr becomes - 37 years after the creation of the tactical requirement for the successor of the marten! Nevertheless, the German armored infantry troops with their Marder infantry fighting vehicle, which was introduced 50 years ago, still have a reliable system that has been tried and tested in operations - even if the vehicle no longer has the optimally achievable values in some combat value criteria and functions.

SPz Marder1A3 and Puma.  Source: Ralph Zwilling via Rheinmetall

SPz Marder1A3 and Puma. Source: Ralph Zwilling via Rheinmetall


With the measures currently being taken to extend the service life of the Marder IFV, it is expected that it will be able to operate until the end of this decade. In the year 2030 the era of the Marder AFV would come to an end after almost 60 years (!) Of use - partly under extreme climatic and geographical conditions - and many tests in tough use. The Marder SPz has set the bar very high for its successor.


Author: Scientific Director aD / Dipl. Ing.Rolf Hilmes worked for several years at the Federal Office for Defense Technology and Procurement (BWB) in Koblenz as a consultant for tank technology. He then moved to the Federal Academy for Defense Administration and Defense Technology (BAkWVT) in Mannheim, where he worked as a lecturer and department head in the field of “Land weapon systems” until his retirement. He is the author of over 200 articles in specialist journals and the author of several armored books.


History of Marder as per Rolf Hilmes, published by Rheinmetall: https://rheinmetall-defence.com/de/rheinmetall_defence/systems_and_products/vehicle_systems/armoured_tracked_vehicles/marder50/index.php

Translated with google translate, so there are quite a few errors.


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On 5/19/2021 at 9:34 PM, BaronTibere said:


IIRC the MP is made in Glasgow but the XP is made in France, and both use French detectors. But I guess its less french than say SAFRAN.

I had a catalogue that listed available products through Thales UK but can't find it now.

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On 5/23/2021 at 3:18 PM, David Moyes said:

I had a catalogue that listed available products through Thales UK but can't find it now.


This was shown to me recently:

http://www.physics.gsu.edu/qwip2006/Presentations/Thales Long Wave QWIP - Eric Costard.pdf



Namely pages 9 and 10. It lists the locations for each sight and the detector (both are french). Previously I assumed that Catherine was basically a rebrand of the Stairs C developed for the UK BGTI program but it would seem not!


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All Catherine thermal imagers use detectors from Sofradir (which is a joint-venture between Sagem and Thales, which was founded long before Pilkington Optronics was acquired by the latter). Stairs C was never finished, the original BGTI uses the Pluton-LW (with 288 x 4 detector elements) second-generation thermal detector.

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Slovenia is looking to purchase 48 Boxers with turret (armament up to 30 mm autocannon being considered) and has re-started to negotiate with OCCAR on the matter. Previous talks were halted in order to study how the new medium battalion should be set up and equipped. Machine translated text:


The Government takes note of the continuation of the procedures regarding the management of the Boxer program

The Government adopted the Information on the commencement of the continuation of the procedure for concluding the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Organization for Cooperation in Joint Armaments for the Management of the Boxer Program for the Construction of the Middle Battalion Battle Group.

The Ministry of Defense started the procedures for the purchase of 8X8 combat wheeled vehicles in 2017, and Slovenia is expected to join the BOXER program as a non-member country of the Organization for Cooperation in Joint Armaments (OCCAR). The Ministry of Defense has initiated coordination with OCCAR on international legal acts for the implementation of the project, including the text of the main contract, and has carried out inter-ministerial coordination for most of them. In 2018, the Ministry of Defense obtained an OCCAR offer to purchase 48 BKV 8x8 with weapon systems (top 30 mm). At the beginning of 2019, it was estimated that a more comprehensive approach to the construction of the Middle Battalion Battle Group should be considered before continuing the project, and a basis should be prepared that will enable commitments to be made over a multi-annual period. Due to the above, the project was temporarily postponed.

In 2020, a comprehensive tactical study was conducted, which provides an integrated approach to the implementation of the capability objective. In accordance with the Decree on a uniform methodology for the preparation and processing of investment documentation in the field of defense, an amendment to the investment program was prepared last year, which takes into account the findings of the tactical study and defines in more detail the provision and training of personnel. The adoption of the Act on the Provision of Investments in the Slovenian Armed Forces in the Years 2121 to 2026 provides a normative basis that enables the acceptance of financial obligations for a longer period of time for the realization of projects for the purchase of the most important weapons systems. The valid Medium-Term Defense Program of the Republic of Slovenia 2018-2023 enables the start of the construction of the Middle Battalion Battle Group.

This fulfills all the conditions due to which the project was temporarily postponed, so the Ministry of Defense will continue the procedures for the purchase of BKV 8x8 through the organization OCCAR. Slovenia will join the BOXER program as a non-member country of OCCAR in the BOXER program. The procedure will continue with the coordination of the Initiative for concluding an Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and OCCAR on the management of the BOXER program.



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Boxer program for Slovenia makes absolutely no sense as they already bought Patria AMVs , adding another type to the mix is crazy not to mention Boxer is just about the most expensive option out there 

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48 minutes ago, mr.T said:

Boxer program for Slovenia makes absolutely no sense as they already bought Patria AMVs , adding another type to the mix is crazy not to mention Boxer is just about the most expensive option out there 

Hasn't that deal fallen through?

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Still 30 to many to add 48 of Boxer to the mix , and note these 48 Boxer are more expensive than at the time whole 135 Patria AMVs , i would think purchasing the rest of now Polish AMVs would be much more sensible.


306mio Eur for 48 Boxer vs € 278 million for 135  Patria AMV , of course most of the AMV were rather basic with only 12.7 HMG or 40mm grenade launcher and only 30 or so were planed to be armed with turrets packing 30mm and ATGMs or Nemo Mortar

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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, SH_MM said:

Thank you for sharing that. Are there any more details regarding the exact nature of the issues? IIRC originally the turrets were delayed due to the required integration of Iron Fist.

That’s the turrets for the Block 2 Boxers. No Iron Fist for turrets fitted to the Block 1 Boxers. 
Nothing official, but indications that the level of maturity was not as high as anticipated when being subjected to the normal battery of engineering reviews (PDR, CDR,  V&V etc). 

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On 6/10/2021 at 8:44 PM, 2805662 said:

That’s the turrets for the Block 2 Boxers. No Iron Fist for turrets fitted to the Block 1 Boxers. 
Nothing official, but indications that the level of maturity was not as high as anticipated when being subjected to the normal battery of engineering reviews (PDR, CDR,  V&V etc). 

From what I hear, that is a fair assessment. 


Separate issue - Iron Fist is turning into a massive cluster.  It will not enter Australian service - period.

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On 6/14/2021 at 2:05 PM, Toxn said:

Mini-competition suggestions, for consideration some time next year:


1. Design an AT gun (2239)


In this mini-competition, contestants would be asked to design a conventional, WW2-era AT gun for use by one of the post-apocalyptic US polities. The gun would be designed with an understanding of how weapon and armour technology would be likely to develop, and should include a description of the gun itself, its mounting and its ammunition.


2. Design a ATGM (2247)


In this mini-competition, contestants would be asked to design an ATGM for use by the Texans, in a project running parallel to their first forays into MBT building. The contestants would have to simulate the overall configuration and aerodynamics of the ATGMs using OpenRocket, and would have to provide a coherent explanation for the warhead layout and control scheme. Submissions would be in the form of ORK files and a brief description.


3. "Fix a tank" 2 - France, 1946


The second "fix a tank" competition, this time to try and fix the problems that the French had with their post-war Panthers. The contestants would not be allowed to radically re-design the vehicles (or, at least, would have to provide better and better justifications for each new change), but would try to work with what they had to fix as many issues as possible. The goal would be to produce a vehicle that the historical 501st and 503rd armoured regiments could operate into the 1950s.


4. "Fill in the blanks" - design the Californian heavy from the first (2239) competition


The Californian heavy tank (which was very obviously an expy of the WW2-era Tiger) was the vehicle which kicked off the entire arms race that has become the dominant narrative of the post-apocalyptic competitions. A cryptic beast, it was described as weighing 50mt, having 76mm of armour and being armed with an 89mm gun that can penetrate ~140mm of RHA at 1000m.


This competition would involve contestants filling in the blanks to create a tank that fits these criteria (ie: not inventing a vehicle with a better gun, massively thick armour etc). The submissions would be done using a formula approach (for which, see here) with the contestants being asked only to model the hull/turret armour layout in detail (ie: in terms of mass). Everything else (the gun, ammunition, suspension, engine, optics etc.) can be simply a visual representation with standard weights being applied for variable-weight components. The submission would be in the form of drawings (front, side, top view) and a description to follow a standard format.

Cross-posting a bit, but I found this interesting:


I was modelling a Tiger 1 analogue for the Californians as a prelude to suggesting the above competition options, and found that the cost of the front drive system, slightly taller engine and hull sponsons ends up being 10 tonnes of weight (for the same protection level and an otherwise-similar component layout) by the time you get to the final weight of the vehicle.


It's amazing how much extra you pick up just from having a taller hull, because of course side armour is one of the more weight-expensive parts of a tank due to the area it occupies. Sponsons are also one of the great enemies of weight saving because they increase roof area and front plate area at the same time. Finally; squaring off the hull (rather than angling it a bit to wrap around internal components better) seems to gain you a small but noticeable amount in the weight department.


All this, combined with the fact that you generally want a longer tank rather than a taller or wider one for ground pressure reasons (more track run), means that the best way to economise is simply to follow the Soviet model: make your vehicles as low and thin as possible as possible, and make up internal volume with length if you need to. This is how you end up with T-54/55 having 200mm of RHA on the front, a minimum of 80mm on the side, a potent 100mm gun, and a weight of only 36mt.

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1 hour ago, N-L-M said:

As long as you don't go looking around where the 20mm belly comes up in a U shape, yeah.

Tiger has similar issues though - that tub and superstructure design philosophy means that the 80-100mm upper box is riding on a 25-60mm lower hull.

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56 minutes ago, DIADES said:

having to select crew on the basis that they can have weekend jobs in a production of Snow White....

It's not like Russian men in the 1950s were tall or anything. Their average height was 168cm. Secondly, only the driver gets extra comfort from being short, although the commander will want to be thin:


Thirdly, it's not like Germans were paragons of comfort themselves.

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9 hours ago, DIADES said:

having to select crew on the basis that they can have weekend jobs in a production of Snow White....


Several of my relatives served on T-55 and I have never heard them complaining that it was too cramped. I don't even think there was any limit on how tall the tankers in ČSLA must have been but I have to ask to confirm that. The thing is that T-54 was 9 tons lighter and much smaller than slightly older Panther but its armor and armament were way better. 

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On 6/15/2021 at 8:32 PM, DIADES said:

From what I hear, that is a fair assessment. 


Separate issue - Iron Fist is turning into a massive cluster.  It will not enter Australian service - period.*

*on a Lance turret. FIFY. 

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The final Boxer A2 vehicle of the second batch ordered by Germany has been delivered:


Delivery of the GTK Boxer vehicles ordered by the Bundeswehr now completed

Munich, 23.06.21
ARTEC GmbH, on behalf of its parent companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall, has officially handed over the last of the Boxer armoured transport vehicles (GTK) ordered to date by the Bundeswehr to representatives of the Federal procurement agency (BAAINBw) and the Ministry of Defence.

The contract for the 2nd batch, which was concluded in December 2015, comprised 131 GTK Boxers and was worth EUR 478 million. All the experience gained with modifications from the successful Afghanistan mission have been incorporated into this A2 version.

Despite the pandemic, which in some cases had a significant impact on delivery dates, the contractual deadlines were met thanks to the constructive, pragmatic and trusting cooperation between the industry and the customer.

In total, the two parent companies of ARTEC GmbH have delivered 405 Boxer vehicles to the Bundeswehr. Among them were 72 Boxers in the ambulance variant, 65 command vehicles and 256 infantry group vehicles.

The combat upgrade commissioned by the Bundeswehr in 2017 provides for all Boxer vehicles, including those from the 1st batch, to be adapted to the A2 design standard. Most recently, in February 2021, the corresponding upgrade of a second batch of Boxer command vehicles to the A2 standard was contracted, so that from 2024 the entire fleet of a total of 65 German Boxer command vehicles will be available at the latest level.

ARTEC GmbH was founded in 1999 and is a joint venture between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG and Rheinmetall. The company coordinates series production and serves as the point of contact for all export issues relating to the Boxer.


The upgrade of the first batch of Boxers to the A2 configuration is still ongoing. Yesterday the German parliament's budget committee approved several major defence procurement programs, including the development and production of prototypes of the Boxer JFST-sw (joint fire support team schwer - i.e. heavy) worth €88.2 million. Currently the only properly equipped JFST vehicle of the German Army is the Fennek, though Wiesel 2 (for airborne units) and BV206S (for mountain units) were meant to act as JFST for the canceled mortar variant of the Wiesel 2.






The upgrade of the Puma IFV to the Puma S1 configuration (worth €1.9 billion) was also approved, but only under several conditions:

  • the funding is only sufficient for ca. 150-160 vehicles
  • the funding also includes the installation of new software-defined radios in 50 command vehicles (Puma and Boxer) under the SVFuA program
  • the German MoD has to gather performance (mostly regarding availability and reliability) data on the Puma VJTF 2023 version in a real operational environment (i.e. during the VJTF 2023)
  • a schedule and analysis of financial requirements for ensuring the full operational capability of the first batch Puma IFVs has to be created
  • the gathered data is to be used to evaluate the possible purchase of a second batch of Puma IFVs - as well as alternative options - based on the cost benefit ratio
  • all Pumas have to be fitted with the same radios under the SVFuA program (the German MoD had offered the option of only using them for the command vehicles as a cost-saving measure)
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On 6/24/2021 at 9:52 PM, DIADES said:

or any other - even vapouware EOS types :)  Iron Fist just does not do what it says on the tin.

Dutch seem happy with it. 

Speaking of underperforming, here’s some pics of Lance 1.0.










First Australian Army turret conversion course. Pics: Private Jacob Hilton. 

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