Abraham Gubler

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18 March 2008
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Developed as the first of the West German Army KW 90 vehicles in the 1980s (the others being the PZH 2000 and a new tank) was the Krauss Maffei Marder 2. The design won a competition in 1988 and two prototypes were built. German Army requirements published in 1984 were:

Same mobility as Leopard 2, seven dismounts, main gun engagement to 2km (meaning 35mm), frontal protection against 30mm AP.

Plan was to build 1,000 units from 1997 to 2001 but Reunification of Germany and the end of the Cold War saw the budget cut. Marder 2 prototypes were ready for testing in 1991 with specifications:

Crew: 3, 8 dismounts
Wight: 40.6 tonnes
Armament: 35mm/50 mm Rh 503, 2 MG3
Engine: MTU MT 881 1000HP (735 kW)
Suspension: torsion bars
Maximum speed: 75 kph (roads)
Range: 600 km (roads)


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IIRC it was also to have a fully stabilised turret. However it lacked an ATGW (but then personally I'm in two minds about every APC carrying an ATGW).
It was no APC - it was a Schützenpanzer, an IFV.
APCs are not meant for sight of line contact with the enemy, IFVs are.

One of the prototypes is at the WTS Koblenz iirc.

The vehicle was meant to finally provide sufficient protection coupled with the same mobility on the battlefield as the Leopard 2 MBTs have and with a strong enough autocannon to defeat all IFVs.

The peace dividend of the 90's (delaying and cancelling many arms procurement plans) killed the vehicle.
Anyone have the stats on the Marder 2?
lastdingo said:
JohnR said:
Anyone have the stats on the Marder 2?


Doesn't provide dimensions. Appears to be nearly as large as a Leopard 1. Might have been cheaper to convert the excess Leopard 1s to a heavy APC configuration.
In that light, from:
Currently being finalized, the design of the new [Namer] troop carrier will be based on a turretless Merkava Mk4 tank chassis. Unlike previous suggestions to use obsolete Merkava Mk1 chassis for the new vehicle, the IDF opted for a more practical, cost effective production of new vehicles.
Nevertheless, 40tons is a lot for an IFV
The Leopard 1 was in extensive use in several nations. There would be a significant stores holding of spares as a consequence. Further, while an extensive rebuild may be required, and that may add costs, the hull is essentially already paid for an hence free. You have to ask the question whether or not the lives of your soldiers are worth the cost of whinging about a little extra dosh.

The Jordanians have shown the way in which an old MBT can be converted to an excellent APC in their Temsah. Ingeniously they turned the vehicle around, placing the engine in the fore and the crew compartment the rear and providing that with a large ramp for easy ingress and egress. Unlike the Azcharit which has that silly passage past the engine to the rear for dismounting.



The same could just as easily be done with a Leopard 1.

Of course, the Namer is purposefully built with that configuration in mind from the start.

The only problem might be that the Leopard 1 would have to have its armour upgraded but the Canadians have shown that could be done, with the versions of the Leopard 1.
SLL said
Firstly it is tonnes and not tons
and 40.6tonnes is 39.95tons. I thought 40tons was close enough, but I'm more used to dealing with historical data.
I assumed that the weight would be quoted on the same basis as rival vehicles from 25 to 35 tons (tonnes add 1.6% to all figures). On that basis the Puma is quoted at 31.5 tonnes.
Incidentally, are the Bradley's tons of 2000lb each?
In general more weight must mean higher cost and fewer vehicles for the same money.
The Namer and the other Israeli heavy APC's are not intended as the sort of highly mobile IFV's required for rapid peer rival armoured warfare on the central European plane. Quite the contrary in fact, they are designed as heavy mobile bunkers for urban operations.
which explains their greater weight, but not the high weight of the Marder 2.
Warrior 2000 has a maximum road speed of 75 km/h, range of 500 km and a combat weight of 31.5 tonnes. (Jane's)
With the Delco turret, Warrior 2000 weighs 30.4 tonnes. (Armada International)

Puma Tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Germany (army-technology.com)
The vehicle is built with the option of three levels of protection to suit the operational requirements. The versions weigh 29.4t, 31.45t and 43t. Additional armour modules can be fitted to the hull and turret to provide level C protection. With level C armour protection the combat weight is increased to 43t. It would be necessary to deploy four A400M transporters to carry three Puma infantry fighting vehicles fitted with level C armour protection, the fourth aircraft lifting the additional modular armour fits.

The basic hull and turret of the Marder 2 is of all-welded steel armour with an additional package of applique armour in key areas. The latter can be replaced by new armour packages as new armour technology becomes available or the threat changes. (Jane's 1992, but the on-line extract is discontinued before any table of stats. Perhaps someone has them?)

I merely said
40tons is a lot for an IFV
and I see SLL agrees it is heavy (particularly Marder 2 in 1991/2, which is not really all that 'modern'
The Marder 2 and the Puma are both at the heavier end of the IFV spectrum but as the most modern of the Western designed platforms this is hardly surprising.
I make no judgement on whether a 36% (roughly) increase in fighting weight, with the consequent increases in the costs of production and transport, and the reduced strategic and tactical mobility, are worth the extra protection. I am assuming that a 43t version of Puma, due to add-on armour, is less mobile on a battlefield than the 29.4 and 31.45t versions.

But none of this makes real sense unless it is made clearer how the 40.6tonne weight of Marder 2 truly compares with the 30tonne or so of other IFVs. Were there figures in Jane's 1992, and what were they?
I forgot the link to Jane's. Does anyone know how the article finished? In particular, any more detailed stats?
rickshaw said:
lastdingo said:
JohnR said:
Anyone have the stats on the Marder 2?


Doesn't provide dimensions. Appears to be nearly as large as a Leopard 1. Might have been cheaper to convert the excess Leopard 1s to a heavy APC configuration.

length: 7,31m
width: 3,48m
heigh: 3,05m

More Technical Data here (on german)

I like the Vehicle.

Were there any specific reasons the Germans went ahead and developed the Puma rather that simply resurrect the Marder 2?
Development start of the Puma was some years after the stop of the Marder 2 Project. The Marder 2 is to heavy for the A400M, one of the main claim for the Puma.


I forget to include a picture of the interior in my last post.

rickshaw said:
lastdingo said:
JohnR said:
Anyone have the stats on the Marder 2?

Doesn't provide dimensions. Appears to be nearly as large as a Leopard 1. Might have been cheaper to convert the excess Leopard 1s to a heavy APC configuration.

Extremely doubtful, one of the reasons why such concepts rarely get beyond the prototype stage is because of how extensive the reconstruction is that is required, they usually end up costing as much if not more than a new IFV. Furthermore you have the cost considerations of keeping what is still a legacy platform in service. Then one assumes that the Leopard 2 is probably significantly more mobile than a leopard 1 and keeping up with the former was a key requirement for the Marder replacement.
If I may, I also think the West German government also appreciated the importance of keeping it's indigenous military industry productive and engaged. Which can't be said for the vast majority of other NATO countries, and a new Marder 2 would have adhered to this philosophy IMO.

Last edited:
Though even they suffered from internal sabotage, intentional and otherwise.


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