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After the competent committees of the German Bundestag took note of the 25 million euro bill on October 7, 2020, the way is clear for the procurement and integration of 244 thermal imaging target devices for the Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicle. 27 million euros are to be spent on accessories and spare parts.

The thermal imaging device currently in use in the Marder AFV can no longer be supplied. According to the decision of the BMVG, the Marder AFVs - depending on the decision on a second batch of Puma AFVs - must be kept ready for use until 2030. At the moment the Marder SPz is still the main weapon system of the Panzergrenadiers. The BMVg stated the need for armored personnel carriers at 560 units. The first batch of the Puma AFVs covers 350 of these.

Thermal imaging sights are used to clear up targets in the dark and when visibility is poor. The new device is a variant of target devices that are already used in the remote-controlled light weapon station 200 and in the Fennek scout car of the Joint Fire Support Teams of the artillery.

The Marder AFV is still considered an option for equipping the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force 2023 (VJTF) if the Puma AFV does not reach the necessary operational readiness in time.

Gerhard Heiming