SPz Marder

Schützenpanzer MOWAG TROJAN

Prototypes made for the SPz 2000 (IFV 2000) programe. Other contenders include the CV9030CH (upgraded CV9030), Warrior 2000 (improved Warrior with 30 mm MK44) and the Marder M12 (Marder 1A3 with MK 30-2). The CV9030CH won.


SPz Marder 1 A3



Marder 1 A5A1



In January 1960, contracts for the design and construction of prototypes of a new infantry combat vehicle were awarded to two groups of companies: the Rheinstahl group comprising Rheinstahl-Hanomag, Ruhrstahl, Witten-Annen and Büro Warnecke and the partnership between Henschel Werke of Kassel and MOWAG of Kreuzlingen, Switzerland. There were three vehicles built by Hanomag, two by Henschel and two by MOWAG, known as the first series prototypes.

Between 1961 and 1963, the second series of prototypes was built, four by Hanomag, one by Henschel and three by MOWAG. There was then a pause in the development of the vehicle as priority was given to the Jagdpanzer Kanone (which entered production at the works of both Hanomag and Henschel in 1965) and the Jagdpanzer Rakete (which entered production at the works of both Hanomag and Henschel in 1967 when production of the Kanone had been completed).

In 1966, the military requirements were finalised and in 1967 the construction of the third and final series of prototypes began. There were 10 prototypes built, three by Hanomag, four by Henschel and three by MOWAG.

Following the takeover of Henschel Werke in 1964 by the Rheinstahl Group, most of the final development work was completed by Rheinstahl. The 10 preproduction vehicles were completed in 1967-68 and, in October 1968, the first vehicles were delivered to the German Army for troop trials which ran from October 1968 to March 1969. In April 1969, companies were asked to tender for series production of the vehicle, which was officially named the Marder 1 in May 1969. In October of that year Rheinstahl (today Rheinmetall Landsysteme) was nominated as prime contractor with MaK of Kiel as a subcontractor.

A total of 2,136 Marder 1 ICV were built, 976 by the then Atlas MaK at Kiel and 1,160 at Kassel by the then Rheinstahl. Both these companies are now part of the Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH group.

The first Marder 1 was handed over on 7 May 1971 and production continued through to 1975. In the same year, the Euromissile MILAN ATGW was adopted to be fired by the commander of the Marder 1 from his open hatch position.

The chassis of the Marder 1 ICV remained in production at Kassel for the Euromissile Roland 2 surface-to-air missile system until 1983.

The Marder 1 series was to have been supplemented by the Marder 2 but this was cancelled after a single prototype had been designed and built by Krauss-Maffei (which in January 1999 became Krauss-Maffei Wegmann).

At present the main emphasis is aimed at providing the vehicle with additional armour protection, especially against anti-tank mines.

Other improvements under consideration are said to include a more powerful engine and a new weapon station with a larger calibre gun, perhaps the Rheinmetall 35 mm/50 mm weapon, which has been under development for some time and was originally earmarked for the Marder 2.


The all-welded steel hull of the Marder 1 provides the crew with protection from small arms fire and shell splinters, with the front of the vehicle giving complete protection from 20 mm armour-piercing discarding sabot (APDS) projectiles.

The driver sits at the front of the hull on the left side and has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the right, in front of which are three day periscopes; the centre one can be replaced by a passive night driving device. One of the infantrymen sits to the rear of the driver and has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the right, with a day periscope that can be traversed through a full 360º.

The engine compartment is to the right of the driver with the MTU MB Ea-500 six-cylinder diesel being coupled to a Renk four-speed HSWL 194 planetary gearbox and a stepless hydrostatic steering unit which transmits power to the tracks via two final drive assemblies mounted at the front of the hull. The radiators are mounted at the rear of the hull, one either side of the ramp, with cooling air being sucked in through grills in the top of the hull by an axial cooling fan.

The two-man turret, designed by KUKA (which in 2000 became Rheinmetall Landsysteme), is mounted in the forward part of the roof, with the commander on the right and the gunner on the left. The commander has a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the right while the gunner has a similar hatch cover that opens to the rear.

The 20 mm Rheinmetall MK 20 Rh 202 cannon is mounted externally and has an elevation of +65º, depression of -17º and 360º turret traverse. The empty cartridge cases are automatically ejected outside the turret.

Both the commander and gunner have a PERI-Z11 sight for use in the ground and anti-aircraft role with a magnification of x2 and x6 which can be replaced by a night periscope. In addition, the commander has eight day periscopes for all-round observation and the gunner has three day periscopes.

Mounted coaxially above and to the right of the 20 mm cannon is a 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun and mounted to the left of the 20 mm cannon are six electrically operated 76 mm smoke grenade dischargers.

The six infantrymen are seated in the troop compartment at the rear of the hull, three down each side facing outwards. Their seating unit was designed by MOWAG and can be adjusted so that four men can sleep. Entry and exit is by a power-operated ramp at the rear of the hull that opens downwards. All Marder 1s have an NBC system.

The torsion bar suspension each side consists of six dual rubber-tyred roadwheels with the drive sprocket at the front, the idler at the rear and three track-return rollers. The first, second, fifth and sixth roadwheel stations have a hydraulic shock-absorber. The Diehl tracks have replaceable rubber pads.

The Marder 1 can ford to a depth of 1.5 m without preparation or to 2.5 m with the aid of a kit. An amphibious kit was developed for the Marder 1 but has not been adopted.


R 397 ICV

The R 397 (previously called the TH 397) is the Marder 1 ICV with the rear external 7.62 mm remote-controlled machine gun removed.

Upgraded Marder 1

From 1982 most Marder 1s were upgraded to one of two new standards, 1 A1 or A1A, at the rate of about 80 vehicles per month.

1 A1(+)

This is the complete upgrade and 674 vehicles have been brought up to this standard. Main improvements are: better firepower due to double belt feed for the 20 mm cannon; improved night capabilities with the installation of a PERI-Z59 (WOE) night sight with sight head PERI-Z16 which uses the image intensification technique, with thermal pointer. The remaining active infra-red searchlight and sight are retained, there is a holder for the commander’s NBC mask on the upper mounting for the MILAN ATGW, new racks for water cans inside, stowage for image intensification equipment, flaps for periscopes, storage for helmets and two 5 m tow ropes. This model weighs 30,000 kg, has a crew of four and carries five instead of six infantrymen. This upgrade was carried out between 1979 and 1982.

1 A1(-)

In total, 350 vehicles were upgraded to the A1(-) configuration, but unlike the A1(+) standard (see above) they were prepared for, but not fitted with, the thermal pointer. The latter can, however, be transferred from an A1(+) turret that is not operational.

1 A1A

In total 1,112 vehicles were modified to the previous standards but not fitted with passive vision equipment. All Marder 1s of the German Army, except command vehicles, now carry a 2,000 m range Euromissile MILAN ATGW system with five missiles and this has meant that the number of infantrymen carried has been reduced from six to five.

1 A1A2

This is a converted Marder 1 with A1 turret and A2 chassis and fitted out with WOE (Warme-Ortungs-Empfanger) PERI Z 59 sighting system.

1 A1A3

This is Marder 1 A1 with SEM 80/90 radios.

1 A1A4

This is Marder 1 A1A with SEM 80/90 radios.

1 A1A5

This is Marder 1 A1A2 with SEM 80/90 radios.

1 A2

Since 1983, all the German Marder 1s have been upgraded to the A2 standard. The 674 A1(+) were upgraded to A2 standard which excludes thermal imaging sight equipment. The remaining 1,462 ICVs are fitted with thermal imaging sight equipment instead of the image intensifier. At the same time the infra-red searchlight on the left side of the turret is removed and the chassis (fuel tanks, cooling system and water-jet cleaning system) and suspension are modified. This upgrade work was carried out between 1984 and 1991 and included installation of WBG (PERI Z 11A1) sighting system.

1 A2A1

This is Marder 1 A2 with SEM 80/90 radios.

1 A3

Four prototype upgraded Marder 1 infantry combat vehicles were completed, followed by six preproduction vehicles. In 1988, Thyssen Henschel (which in 2000 became Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH) was awarded a contract covering the conversion of 2,100 Marder 1 A1/A2 series vehicles to the A3 standard over a 10 year period at the rate of 220 vehicles a year, with the project starting in 1989. The first vehicles were handed over to the German Army on 17 November 1989. The modifications include the following:

Armour package – a new passive armour package weighing 1,600 kg was fitted to provide protection against penetration from the Russian BMP-2 30 mm cannon. This package consists of frontal armour on the hull, add-on armour on the glacis plate, conformal add-on armour on both sides of the turret, three box-type armour components on both sides of the hull (so blocking off the hull firing ports), spaced armour plates on the roof to cause premature detonation of top attack rounds, add-on armour with a stowage compartment at the rear door and improvements in human engineering.

The infantryman’s hatch to the immediate rear of the driver’s position has been eliminated and over the top of the troop compartment there are now three roof hatches arranged in a triangular pattern, two towards the front and one towards the rear.

As the combat weight of the Marder 1 has increased to 35 tonnes, a number of modifications have been carried out to the suspension including the installation of reinforced torsion bars, a hydraulic duplex brake system, change of gear ratio of the lateral final drives to maintain high mobility, steering agility and acceleration.

The diesel-electric air heating system has been replaced by a warm water heating system coupled and electrically linked to the engine cooling system.

New stowage boxes are provided along the sides of the upper part of the hull and a new radio installation is provided.

In addition to being provided with additional armour protection, the 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun, including the ammunition magazine, has been rearranged on the extreme left in a separate mount.

Internal turret modifications include changed space-saving ammunition feed, newly designed and improved seats, a larger free space in the knee area, an enlarged passage between the commander’s and gunner’s seats, a redesigned console between the crew seats and optical signal repeating push-buttons in the centre operating console replacing lever functions previously distributed within the turret compartment.

Final deliveries were made to the German Army in 1998.

Marder 1 A4

A Marder 1 A3 with SEM 93 cryptographic radio.

Marder 1 A5 (2003–2004)

Additional anti-mine armor and completely remodeled interior in order to avoid blast and shock injuries to the crew when hit by a mine. Applied to 74 Marder 1 A3s only.

Marder 1 A5A1 (2010-2011)

Equipped with air conditioning system, jammer for IED-protection and multi-spectral camouflage. In December 2010 ten vehicles were brought to this standard, further 25 to be upgraded by August 2011.


These include newly designed and stronger armoured track skirts and an infra-red camouflage for the final drives, a new electronic control for the engine and changing the current maintenance concept to keep the batteries fully charged even during extended parking periods.

Marder 1 with additional mine protection

In 1999, the then Henschel Wehtechnik delivered one prototype of the Marder 1 to the German Army, with an integrated mine-protection system under the crew compartment for enhanced protection against heavy anti-tank mines.

Late in 2000, it was stated that the German Army was to retrofit 60 of its Marder 1 A3 to this enhanced standard by 2003, with Rheinmetall Landsysteme being prime contractor.

It is claimed that this system will ensure safety against 86 per cent of all existing anti-tank mines.

The new mine protection system includes reinforcements to the lower hull at the welding seams by the application of specially formed panels.

Stowage installation and the crew compartment have been redesigned and the benches and seats have been rearranged with roof-mounted fastenings.

Spall liners have been installed and the batteries moved to the track covers. The fuel tank under the two-person turret is now smaller and extra fuel is carried in an additional tank in the former MILAN ATGW compartment at the right rear side near the turret.

When fitted with the additional armour and revised stowage, the combat weight of the Marder is now 37,000 kg, although this could be lowered by reducing the ammunition stowage.


The German KUKA (today Rheinmetall Landsysteme M12 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) was one of the three vehicles evaluated in 1998/1999 to meet the Swiss Army requirement for 310 new Schutzenpanzer 2000 ICV. This competition was won by the Swedish Hagglunds Vehicle CV 9030CH.

The M12 is basically a modified Marder 1A3 chassis fitted with the new advanced two-person turret system designated the E4.

The new E4 turret system is fitted with a Mauser 30 mm MK 30-2 stabilised cannon, all electric gunlaying system and stabilised line of sight fire-control system. Both the commander and gunner have roof hatches and the commander has seven day periscopes for all round observation.

For the Swiss trials a 7.5 mm machine gun was mounted coaxial with the 30 mm cannon and a 7.62 mm machine gun can also be installed, as can other types of cannon with a calibre range of 20 to 30 mm. The empty cartridge cases and links are ejected outside of the turret.

The gunner has a RTWL stabilised x2 and x8 magnification day/thermal sighting system with an integrated laser range-finder which gives the M12 a high first round hit probability against stationary or moving targets when the vehicle itself is stationary or moving.

The vehicle commander has a PERI Z 17 sight with a x2 and x8 magnification and display of the gunner’s thermal sight.

The fire-control/sighting system has three modes of operation. These are the aiming mode, the stabilisation mode (slaving the weapon to the optical line of sight with cross-hairs always on the target) and observation mode (all-round observation through the periscope without slewing the turret).

The turret system also features an automatic munition counting system which provides for the necessary number of rounds depending on the range to the target and the type of target being engaged. Provision has also been made for the integration of an automatic target tracking device.

For ease of use, the main turret control panel is located between the two crew stations so that it can be used by commander or gunner. All functions of the turret are carried out electrically or mechanically. Turret traverse is through a full 360º with weapon elevation from -10 to +45º.

The Mauser 30 mm cannon can fire a variety of ammunition types with a calibre of 30 mm x 173. The 30 mm cannon is provided with 140 ready rounds of high-explosive ammunition and 140 rounds of armour-piercing ammunition while the coaxial machine gun has 450 rounds of ready use ammunition.

The E4 turret has been designed with growth potential, for example the addition of a command and information system or an identification friend or foe system. Turret options include electrically operated smoke grenade launchers, illumination grenade launchers and various radios and intercoms.

The M12 has a crew of three consisting of commander, gunner and driver, with eight infantrymen being seated in the rear. On the standard Marder 1A3 used by the German Army the eight infantrymen are seated back-to-back in the rear, facing outwards. On the latest M12 they are seated four down either side facing inwards and also have a redesigned stowage system. The infantry enter and leave the M12 via a power-operated ramp in the hull rear.

The M12 also has performance-enhanced suspension, a liner to reduce the effectiveness of mines and a number of ergonomic improvements in the fighting compartment.

Marder 1 with radar system

First prototypes of the Radarpanzer TÜR (Tiefflieger-Überwachungs-Radar) based on the chassis of the Marder 1 ICV were delivered to the German Army late in 1981. This is an extensively modified raised Marder 1 hull with the turret replaced by a hydraulically operated arm, on top of which is mounted a Siemens radar with a range of some 30 km. When raised into the operating position, the radar is approximately 10 m above the ground. The hull of the RadarPz TÜR has been raised to provide increased space for the crew and equipment. The interior of the hull houses the radar unit, the display and control units, the radio and data processing system and the power supply, cooling systems and hydraulic equipment.

Armament consists of two banks of four electrically operated 76 mm smoke grenade dischargers mounted either side of the hull rear and a 7.62 mm machine gun on each cupola. In July 1988 Siemens handed over the matured MPDR 3002-S for the TÜR to the Federal German Office for Military Procurement and Technology for extensive technical trials at the Army Military Technology Department 81.

Marder 1 driver training tank

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann has delivered 36 Driver Training Tank versions of the Marder 1 infantry combat vehicle to the German Army. These have all had their two-man power-operated turrets replaced by a fixed cupola with seats for the instructor and pupils under instruction. These are called the Fahrschul SPz driver training vehicles and are based on the Marder 1 A1A2 chassis.

Roland surface-to-air missile system

In total 144 Euromissile Roland 2 surface-to-air missile systems on the Marder 1 chassis have been built for the German Army, with a further four systems delivered to Brazil. There are two Roland missiles carried in the ready to launch position, with another eight missiles being carried in the hull, four either side of the turret, ready for automatic loading.

TAM medium tank family

Details of this vehicle, developed to meet the requirements of Argentina, are given in the MBTs and

Medium Tanks section under Argentina.

Combat service

With the first unit delivered in summer 1971, the Marder IFV remained untested in combat for 38 years until July 2009 when they defended a German combat outpost against the Taliban in Chahar Dara district of Afghanistan’s Kunduz Province, killing and wounding scores. Since then, the Marders have been involved in heavy fighting several times. The vehicles have proved to be extremely useful and have been praised as a great tactical asset by German troops. However, the crews have been subject to great physical stress as none of the vehicles are equipped with air conditioning systems.

In June 2011, a German Marder was destroyed near Kunduz by a 200 kg IED, killing one soldier and injuring five others.


(Key specifications of the upgraded Marder A3 are given in square brackets where applicable)

Crew: 9

Combat weight: 29,207 [33,500*] kg

Unloaded weight: 28,200 [29,900*] kg

Power-to-weight ratio: 20.54 [18] hp/t

Ground pressure: 0.83 [0.94] kg/cm2

Length: 6.79 [6.88] m

Width: 3.24 [3.38] m


(over turret top) 2.985 [3.015] m

(over hull top) 1.9 m

Firing height:

(20 mm cannon) 2.56 [2.7] m

(7.62 mm coaxial MG) 2.735 m

Ground clearance: 0.44 [0.455] m

Track: 2.62 m

Track width: 450 mm

Length of track on ground: 3.9 m

Max road speed (forward and reverse):

(4th gear) 75 [65] km/h

(3rd gear) 47 km/h

(2nd gear) 31 km/h

(1st gear) 16 km/h

Fuel capacity: 652 litres

Max road range: 520 [500] km

Fording: 1.5 m

(with preparation) 2.5 [2.0] m

Max gradient: 60%

Side slope: 30%

Vertical obstacle: 1 m

Trench: 2.5 m

Turning radius:

(4th gear) 30 m

(3rd gear) 20 m

(2nd gear) 13.5 m

(1st gear) 6.5 m

Engine: MTU MB 833 Ea-500 6-cylinder liquid-cooled diesel developing 600 hp at 2,200 rpm

Transmission: 4-speed HSWL 194 planetary, 4 forward and 2 reverse gears, integral steering and braking system

Suspension: torsion bar

Electrical system: 24 V

Batteries: 6 × 12 V


(main) 1 × 20 mm MK 20 Rh 202 cannon

(coaxial) 1 × 7.62 mm MG3 MG

Smoke-laying equipment: six 76 mm smoke grenade dischargers


(main) 1,250

(7.62 mm) 5,000

Gun control equipment

Commander’s fire control:

(override) yes

Turret power control: electrohydraulic/manual

(by commander) yes

(by gunner) yes

Max rate power traverse: 60º/s

Max rate power elevation: 40º/s

Gun elevation/depression: +65/-17º

Turret traverse: 360º

Gun stabiliser:

(vertical) no

(horizontal) no

NBC system: yes

Night vision equipment: yes

* Maximum gross weight of Marder 1 is 35,000 kg, military empty weight is 31,200 kg.

Note: When originally introduced into service with the German Army the Marder 1 had a crew of 4 + 6

and was fitted with a remote-controlled 7.62 mm machine gun over the rear of the troop compartment.

Most vehicles also carry one Euromissile ATGW for which six missiles are carried inside the vehicle.


Production of the Marder was undertaken by the then: Rheinstahl, Kassel and MaK of Kiel.

Design authority is the now Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH

1 thought on “SPz Marder

  1. Pingback: IFV: SPz Marder, la base del TAM | DFNS.net en Español

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