German Ringtausch continues as Greece swaps ex-GDR armour for Marders
The first Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) supplied by Rheinmetall to Greece under the Ringtausch scheme were presented as part of a parade of the Hellenic Armed Forces (HAF) during a national holiday on 28 October in Thessaloniki.
The HAF are in turn donating 162 Soviet-era BMP-1 IFVs and other military equipment to Ukraine and are receiving the 40 Marders in exchange. The BMP-1s were supplied by Berlin to Greece after the end of the Cold War and originally equipped the army of the former East Germany.
In addition to the Marders, ammunition, an integrated service package including training and spare parts will be provided by the German Armed Forces and Rheinmetall. Deliveries are due to be complete by the end of 2023.
The vehicles provided are overhauled Marder 1A3s from former German Army stocks. They have been repaired by Rheinmetall Landsysteme at the company's own expense since spring 2022 and are ready for immediate use upon delivery. The first vehicles left Rheinmetall's site at Unterlüß on 11 October en route to Greece.
According to Shephard Defence Insight, Greece has a requirement for a new 8x8 wheeled IFV to replace legacy tracked vehicles, but no formal programme has been launched yet. It is unclear what the impact of the Marder deliveries will be on this requirement.
In September, Shephard reported that the German government had opted not to supply the 40 Marders directly to Ukraine despite requests for them from Kyiv.
Rheinmetall is also involved in Ringtausch exchanges with the Czech and Slovak armed forces, supplying them with Leopard 2A4 tanks.
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