Marder 1A3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle
The Bundeswehr began looking for a new infantry vehicle in the early 1960s, and the Marder won the competition. Prototypes were made in 1967 and 1968, and the first vehicles entered service in 1970. Production of Marders essentially ended in 1975 (the chassis was produced until 1983 for Roland SAM carriers), and the Marder 1A3 is only in service with the German Army.
The Marder 1A3 has a number of unique features. The original model had firing ports similar to the original Bradleys, and a remote controlled MG on the rear deck above the rear door. These have since been removed, the firing ports being covered over with a new armor package. The 20mm cannon and the 7.62mm MG are on an external powered mount above the turret, allowing minimal exposure while in a hull-down position. On the other hand, unlike most other IFVs, the Marder cannot swim, and it's original configuration had no ATGM. This may have gotten around the dilemma of deciding if the Marder 1A3 was there to be a tank destroyer or an infantry support vehicle, but the Germans also apparently changed their minds, later fitting Milan ATGMs to the turret. The Marder 1A3 also has a number of armor upgrades and improvements to its roof hatches.
In combat, the Marder 1A3 is much like its cousins, the BMP and the much bigger Bradley. The Milan missile makes it a real threat to tanks, and the 20mm cannon enables it to support its squad. If defending, you'll have to make the call between stationing it where it can best support and move its troops, or stationing it where it can best use its missile to act as a tank destroyer in an ambush. If attacking, provide overwatch to keep them from getting blown away; even the improved armor is not likely to stop an ATGM, tank round, or RPG. Try to make sure the Marders 1A3 are not the center of attention in the attack. Not an easy task, but that's why you get paid the big bucks.
Crew: 3 plus 6 dismounts
Armament: 20mm cannon, 7.62mm MG, Milan ATGM launcher Ammunition: 1,250 x 20mm, 5,000 x 7.62, 1 Milan plus 5 reloads
Armour: max 300mm vs HEAT, max 50mm vs KE
Armour Type: Steel
Length: 6.79 meters
Width: 3.24 meters
Height: 2.985 meters
Combat Weight: 34,000 kg
Engine: MTU MB 833 Ea-500 6-cylinder liquid-cooled diesel
Max Road Speed: 75 km/h
Max Water Speed: sinks [can ford 1.5 meters, 2 meters with preparation]
Max Cruising Range: 520 km