The German Bundeswehr has awarded Rheinmetall a contract to modernize Marder infantry fighting vehicle, or IFV.

Under the contract, Rheinmetall Landsysteme will now be supplying the Bundeswehr with over 170 driver’s night observation devices for the Marder fleet. Worth around €24 million (including valued added tax), the order also encompasses logistical support, training and other services. Delivery begins at the end of 2021 and is to be complete by the end of 2022.

The new driver’s night observation device is the Spectus II. It fuses the image from a residual light amplifier camera with one produced by a thermal imaging device, improving the driver’s ability to see even in conditions of poor visibility.

In addition, the system features a rear-view camera. Cooperation partners taking part in the project include Rheinmetall Technical Publications and the Rheinmetall subsidiary benntec Systemtechnik GmbH. In response to an urgent operational requirement for the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, Rheinmetall previously integrated the Spectus I – the Spectus II’s forerunner – into the Marder 1 A5A1 fleet.

Now official, this order constitutes a continuation of successful efforts to extend the Marder’s service life. In December 2019 the German armed forces contracted with Rheinmetall to carry out a comprehensive modernization of part of the Marder fleet. Moreover, the current contract could result in further orders from customers both at home and abroad, thanks, for instance, to the budget committee of the Bundestag giving a green light on 7 October 2020 to procurement of a thermal imaging aiming device for the gunner and commander in Bundeswehr Marders.

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