June 11, 2009
June 19, 2008
The Marder (German for “marten”) is a German infantry fighting vehicle operated by the German Army as the main weapon of the Panzergrenadiere (mechanized infantry) from the 1970s through the present day. Developed as part of the rebuilding of Germany’s armoured fighting vehicle industry, the Marder has proven to be a successful and solid infantry fighting vehicle design. While it does include a few unique features, such as the fully remote machine gun on the rear deck, it is overall a simple and conventional machine with rear exit hatch and side gun ports for mounted infantry to fire through. Its successor, the Puma, is under development.
The government of Greece (as of 2007) due to budget problems postponed negotiations with the German army for the purchase of 500 Marder vehicles, following the development of Germany’s new Puma IFV. The vehicles were previously used by the German Army and are to be retired.
Development of the Marder ran from January 1960, when the first development contracts were issued, to 7 May 1971, when the first production vehicles were given to the German army.
The vehicle was intended to be an improvement over the Schützenpanzer Lang HS.30. The main requirements were:
A capacity of 12 infantrymen.
A more reliable 20 mm cannon.
The infantry must be able to fight from within the vehicle or dismounted.
Protection from Nuclear, Biological and Chemical weapons.
Initially development contracts were awarded to two groups of companies the Rheinstahl group (Rheinstahl-Hanomag, Ruhrstahl, Witten-Annen, Büro Warnecke) and the second group comprising Henschel Werke and the Swiss MOWAG company. This resulted in the production of seven prototype vehicles. A second set of eight prototype vehicles were built between 1961 and 1963. Development priority was then switched for a while to the development of the Jagdpanzer 90 mm Kanone.
In 1967, after military requirements were fininalized, a third and final set of ten prototypes were built. Final development work was completed by the Rheinstahl group, and 10 pre-production vehicles were built and completed troop trials with the German army between October 1968 and March 1969. In May 1969, the vehicle was officially named the “Marder 1” and in October Rheinstahl was chosen as the prime contractor.
The first production Marder 1 was handed to the German army on 7 May 1971. Production of the vehicle continued until 1975, with 2,136 vehicles being completed.
In 1975 the Milan missile was first adapted to be fired by commander from his open hatch, and between 1977 and 1979 Milan missiles were fitted to army vehicles.
A number of upgrade programs were carried out, that included fitting night vision equipment and a thermal imager, as well as upgraded the ammunition feed to the 20 mm cannon.
The A3 upgrade program began in 1988, with Thyssen Henschel being awarded a contact to upgrade 2,100 Marder 1 A1/A2 series vehicles to A3 standard at a rate of 220 a year. The first upgraded vehicles reached the German army on 17 November 1989. The modification package included:
Improved armour weighing 1,600 kg intended to protect against the 30 mm 2A42 cannon on the Russian BMP-2. The armour also provided additional protection against cluster bomblets.
The hatches over the infantry compartment were re-arranged.
Suspension was reinforced, a new braking system was installed, the gearbox adjusted. The heating system was replaced with a water based heating system.
Turret was reconfigured.
Total weight is now 35,000 kg.
A Marder 1 A3 fires its 20 mm cannon in an exercise.
Primary armament is the 20 mm Rheinmetall MK 20 Rh202 autocannon mounted in the small two-man turret which can fire either armour-piercing or HE rounds. Mounted coaxially to the left of the cannon is a 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun. The turret has 360 degree traverse, and can elevate from -17 degrees to +65 degrees at a rate of 40 degrees per second while traversing at a rate of 60 degrees a second. Early Marders up to and including version 1A1 had a second MG3 mounted on the rear deck in a remote controlled pod. Typically 1,250 rounds are carried for the 20 mm cannon, along with a further 5,000 rounds for the MG3.
On current models since version 1A2, a MILAN anti-tank guided missile launcher can be attached to the turret to provide enhanced anti-armour capabilities. Typically six missiles are carried inside the vehicle.
There are four (two per side) gun ports which can be used by mounted infantry to provide additional fire against attacking infantry targets. Only Marder 1A1 and 1A2 had been equipped with this. Marder 1A3 and above do not have gun ports due to an extra layer of amour and outside storage boxes.
Six 76 millimeter diameter smoke grenade dischargers can create a visual and infra-red blocking smoke screen.
Type Infantry fighting vehicle
Place of origin West Germany
In service 1971-present
Used by Germany
Weight 28.5 t (Marder 1)
30.0 (Marder 1A1)
33.5 t (Marder 1A3)
Length 6.79 m (Marder 1, Marder 1A1)
6.88 m (Marder 1A3)
Width 3.24 (Marder 1, Marder 1A1)
3.38 m (Marder 1A3)
Height 2.98 m (Marder 1, Marder 1A1)
3.015 m (Marder 1A3)
Crew 3+7 (Marder 1)
3+5-6 (Marder 1A1, Marder 1A3)
Armor Welded steel, protection up to 20 mm APDS
Marder 1A3 onwards – spaced welded steel up to 30 mm APDS
armament 20 mm Rheinmetall MK 20 Rh 202 automatic cannon
MILAN ATGM launcher
armament 7.62 mm MG3 machine gun
Engine MTU MB 833 Ea-500 diesel engine
600 hp (441 kW)
Transmission RENK HSWL 194
Suspension Torsion bar
Ground clearance 0.45 m (Marder 1, Marder 1A3)
0.44 m (Marder 1A1)
Fuel capacity 652 l
range 520 km (Marder 1, Marder 1A1)
500 km (Marder 1A3)
Speed 75 km/h (Marder 1, Marder 1A1)
65 km/h (Marder 1A3)
June 18, 2008
The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank developed by Krauss-Maffei AG, now Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), of Munchen, Germany. The Leopard 2 is a successor to the successful Leopard 1.
The Leopard 1 was first produced in 1963 by Krauss-Maffei for the German Ministry of Defence and more than 6,000 vehicles have been exported to Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and Australia.
The successor to the Leopard 1, the Leopard 2, was first produced in 1979 and is in service with the armies of Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Spain, with over 3,200 produced. The Finnish Army is buying 124 and the Polish Army 128 used Leopard 2A4 tanks from Germany. In August 2005, Greece placed an order for 183 used Leopard 2A4 and 150 Leopard 1A5 tanks from German Army reserves.
In November 2005, an agreement was signed for the sale of 298 German army Leopard 2A4 tanks to Turkey. Deliveries are planned from 2006 to 2007. In March 2006, Chile signed a contract for the acquisition of 140 Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German Army. The first was delivered in December 2007.
The Leopard 2A6 includes a longer L55 gun, an auxiliary engine, improved mine protection and an air-conditioning system. The German Army is upgrading 225 2A5 tanks to 2A6 configuration, the first of which was delivered in March 2001. The Royal Netherlands Army upgraded 180 of its 2A5 tanks to 2A6 configuration, the first of which entered service in February 2003. In March 2003, the Hellenic Army of Greece ordered 170 Leopard 2 HEL (a version of the 2A6EX). 30 are being assembled by KMW, the remainder by ELBO of Greece. The first locally built tank was delivered in October 2006.
Spain has ordered 219 Leopard 2E (a version of the 2A6 with greater armour protection), 16 recovery tanks (CREC) and four training vehicles. The first 30 are being built by KMW and the rest are being license-built in Spain by General Dynamics, Santa Barbara Sistemas (GDSBS). The first tank was handed over to the Spanish Army in June 2004 and deliveries should complete in 2008.
Another variant is the Leopard 2(S), which has a new command and control system and new passive armour system. 120 Leopard 2(S) have been delivered to the Swedish Army. Deliveries concluded in March 2002.
In December 2006, it was announced that Singapore is to buy 66 refurbished Leopard 2A4 tanks from the German Army, plus 30 additional tanks for spares. The tanks will enter service with the Singapore Army in 2008.
In April 2007, Canada purchased up to 100 Leopard 2 tanks from the Dutch Army and leased 20 Leopard 2A6M tanks from the German Army. KMW delivered the first of the leased 2A6M tanks, which has been upgraded with improved mine protection and slat armour, in August 2007. The tank was deployed to Afghanistan later in August 2007. The Dutch army retains a fleet of 110 2A6 tanks.
In October 2007, Portugal purchased 37 Leopard 2A6 tanks from the Dutch Army, to be delivered 2008–2009.
|LEOPARD 2A6 MAIN BATTLE TANK – SPECIFICATIONS|
|Weight||62 metric tons|
|Armament||1 x Rheinmetall 120 mm L55 smoothbore gun|
|1 x coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun|
|1 x 7.62 mm anti-aircraft machine gun|
|Maximum speed||72 km/hr|
|Maximum range||500 km|
|Powerplant||MTU MB 873 multi-fuel, 1500 hp|
|Transmission||Renk HSWL 354|
|Gunner’s sight||Rheinmetall Defence Electronics EMES 15 with thermal channel and laser rangefinder|
|Commander’s sight||Rheinmetall Defence Electronics PERI-R17A2 with thermal channel|
June 16, 2008
TPz (Transportpanzer) Fuchs (fox) is an armoured personnel carrier developed by Daimler-Benz and built by Thyssen-Henschel (now Rheinmetall Landsysteme) in 1979. It was the second wheeled armoured vehicle to be fielded in the Bundeswehr. It is used for various different tasks including troop-transport, engineer-transport, bomb disposal, NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) reconnaissance and electronic warfare. By mixing and matching the different models and retrofit kits, today more than 90 different combinations are possible, 32 of which have so far been produced. The TPz Fuchs is thus also referred to as a “retrofit platform”.
The vehicles engine is a Mercedes-Benz Model OM 402A V-8 liquid-cooled diesel with an output of 320 hp. It has a max speed of 105 km/h and a range of 800 km. Fuchs is 7.33 m long, 2.98 m wide and 2.37 m high. It weighs 18.3 tons with the capability to carry additional 6 tons in equipment. The 6×6 APC is characterized by high performance over all terrains and low noise. Its rear-mounted propellers and 360° turning range, enable the vehicle to take water obstacles in its stride at up to 10km/h.
The TPZ Fuchs can be equipped with up to three Rheinmetall MG3 general purpose machine guns, one of which is mounted on a manually controlled turret. Fuchs’ of the Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion, Panzergrenadiers (mechanized infantry), the Franco-German Brigade, the mountain infantry and the Jäger (rangers) of the German Army are also armed with MILAN anti-tank-guided missiles (in this configuration max. two MG3s can be mounted).
Improvements over the years
The vehicle’s ability to withstand high-performance, armour-piercing ammunition fired not only from small arms but also from lightweight carriage-mounted machineguns, as well as shrapnel (e.g. from artillery rounds), and to augment its protection against anti-personnel and antitank mines had to be improved.
Due to the weight and volume restrictions they had to use advanced armour materials to meet the protection specifications. Compared to equally effective steel or aluminium alloy armour, modern armour materials enable weight savings of 50% or more.
The modular armour protection system used in the TPz Fuchs encompasses six harmonized, complementary elements which in part operate in coordinated fashion:
add-on armour mounted to the exterior of the vehicle housing;
anti-mine protective plating in the wheel cases;
reinforced bullet-proof windows;
reinforced bullet-proof visors for shielding the window exteriors;
spall-lining of all interior surfaces of the vehicle compartment, and
a shielded gun mounting (except on the medical vehicles).
Type Armoured personnel carrier
Place of origin West Germany
Used by Bundeswehr
Weight 18.3 t
Length 7.33 m
Width 2.98 m
Height 2.37 m
armament Up to three Rheinmetall MG3
armament MILAN anti-tank guided missile, smoke grenade launchers
Engine Mercedes-Benz Model OM 402A V-8 liquid-cooled diesel
Payload capacity 6 t
range 800 km
Speed 105 km/h
10 km/h (in water)
June 16, 2008
The Fennek, named after the fennec (a small species of desert fox), or LGS Fennek, with LGS being short for Leichter Gepanzerter Spähwagen in German (Light Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle), is a four wheeled armed reconnaissance vehicle produced by the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Dutch Defence Vehicle Systems. It was developed for both the German Army and Royal Netherlands Army to replace their current vehicles.
In April 2000, the prototype vehicle finished field trials and in December 2001 a combined order was placed. 410 were ordered by the Royal Netherlands Army (202 reconnaissance, 130 MRAT (medium range antitank) and 78 general purpose versions) and 216 by the German military (178 reconnaissance, 24 combat engineer, 10 Joint Fire Support Teams and four artillery observer versions). Germany plans an overall purchase of approximately 300 Fenneks. The first vehicle was delivered to the Netherlands in July 2003 and the first to Germany in December of the same year. Deliveries will continue to take place until 2008.
The Dutch SP Aerospace company, which produced the Fennek for the Dutch military, was declared bankrupt in August 2004. A new company called Dutch Defence Vehicle Systems (DDVS) was created to continue the production of the vehicles for the Royal Netherlands Army.
The Fennek has four wheels with selectable two or four wheel drive. It has a Deutz diesel engine producing 179 kW, giving it a top speed of 115 km/h. Tire pressure can be regulated by the driver from inside the vehicle to suit terrain conditions.
Various weapons can be fitted, such as a 12.7 mm machine gun for the Dutch reconnaissance version, a Rafael Spike anti-tank missile on the Dutch MRAT version or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher (HK GMG) for the German vehicles. The Royal Netherlands Army also placed an order at the Turkish company Aselsan for 18 Raytheon Stinger surface-to-air missile launchers to be fitted on the Fennek.
The vehicle is protected all-round against 7.62 mm rounds and additional armour can be added if the mission requires. The air conditioning system provides protection against nuclear, biological and chemical warfare and the crew compartment is protected against anti-personnel mines.
Both Germany and the Netherlands have deployed Fennek reconnaissance vehicles to Afghanistan in support of ISAF. On November 3, 2007 a Dutch Fennek was hit by an improvised explosive device killing one and wounding two other occupants. The vehicle and its crew were taking part in an offensive operation targeting the Taliban in the province of Uruzgan, Afghanistan. In another incident a German Fennek was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. Its hollow charge jet penetrated the vehicle through the right front wheel rim, passed through the vehicle and blew the left door off the hinge. Thanks to the spall liner the crew sustained only negligible injuries.
Type Armoured car
Place of origin Germany, Netherlands
Weight 9.7 tonnes
Length 5.71 m
Width 2.49 m
Height 1.79 m
armament HK GMG 40 mm grenade autocannon (German version), M2HB 12.7 mm machine gun (Dutch versions)
armament Not applicable
Engine Deutz diesel
239 hp (179 kw)
Power/weight 24,6 hp/tonne
Suspension Selectable 4 wheel drive
range 860 km
Speed 115 km/h
June 14, 2008
The Eurocopter Tiger is an attack helicopter manufactured by the Eurocopter Group. In Germany it is known as the Tiger; in France and Spain it is called the Tigre. It is also designated the EC 665 or PAH-2.
In 1984 the German and French governments issued a requirement for an advanced multi-role battlefield helicopter. A joint venture consisting of MBB and Aerospatiale was subsequently chosen as the preferred supplier. Due to high costs, the program was cancelled in 1986, but was relaunched during 1987. Subsequently, in November 1989, Eurocopter received a contract to build 5 prototypes. Three were to be unarmed testbeds and the other two armed prototypes: one for the German anti-tank variant and the other for the French escort helicopter variant.
The first prototype first flew in April 1991. When Aerospatiale and MBB, among others, merged in 1992 to form the Eurocopter Group, the Tiger program was transferred as well. Serial production of the Tiger began in March 2002 and the first flight of the first production Tiger HAP for the French Army took place in March 2003. The delivery of the first of the eighty helicopters ordered by the French took place in September 2003.
At the end of 2003 deliveries began of the 80 UHT version combat support helicopters ordered by Germany to the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement.
The EC Tiger is capable of stopping 23mm autocannon fire.
The body of the Tiger is made from:
80% carbon fiber reinforced polymer and kevlar
The rotors are made from fiber-plastic able to withstand combat damage and bird strikes. Protection against lightning and EMP is ensured by embedded copper/bronze grid and copper bonding foil. In the helicopter is installed AN/AAR-60 MILDS System ensuring radar warning, laser warning, missile launch/approach detector developed by EADS DE, all connected with central processing unit from Thales and SAPHIR-M chaff / flare dispenser from MBDA.
Its visual, radar, infrared, sound signatures have been minimized.
The navigation system contains two Thales Avionique three-axis ring laser gyro units, two magnetometers, two air data computers, BAE Systems Canada CMA 2012 four-beam Doppler radar, radio altimeter, global positioning system and a suite of low air speed sensors and sensors for terrain following.
Datalinks: Link 4A, Thales Proprietary PR4G, STANAG 5066
Radios: HF, MF, VHF, UHF, military SATCOM, GPS receiver and datalink.