Bundeswehr to Receive 1,000 New Trucks
(Source: German Ministry of Defence; issued Oct. 8, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
With additional funding made available through the government’s coronavirus recovery funds, the Bundeswehr will order 1,000 new high-mobility trucks and, with regular funding, will upgrade the thermal imaging sights of its Marder IFVs. (Bundeswehr photo)
The Bundeswehr vehicle fleet is being renewed. In the case of unprotected transport vehicles, there will now be a big step forward. The budget committee of the German Bundestag agreed on October 7th to use funds from the economic stimulus package to purchase trucks and interchangeable bodies. For investments of over 100 million euros from the economic stimulus package, separate approval from the budget committee of the German Bundestag is required.

The Bundeswehr has been renewing its transport vehicle fleet since 2017. So far, 1,870 vehicles have been ordered under the current framework agreement, and they should begin to arrive in the forces by the end of this year.

1,000 new trucks as mobility vehicles

The Bundeswehr intends to use funds from the federal government's corona-related economic and crisis management package to purchase 1,000 additional unprotected transport vehicles for around 398 million euros.

The order comprises 150 trucks in the five-tonne class and 850 vehicles in the 15-tonne class. The vehicles are characterized by great robustness, off-road capabilities and special military equipment. They serve different tasks, such as the transport of general cargo, ammunition, operating materials, cabins or containers.

They will not only replace the existing transport vehicles from the 1970s, but also improve the mobility of the armed forces. The existing framework agreement for the unprotected transport vehicles is to be expanded and the vehicles will be delivered within the next two years.

Swap bodies also commissioned

In addition to the truck lorries, the funds from the economic stimulus package are also to be used to procure 1,850 swap bodies for 48 million euros. A swap body is a standardized and exchangeable load carrier that is not permanently attached to the vehicle.

This significantly reduces the time required for loading and unloading processes and their flexibility for the troops. In two contracts, 950 swap bodies 15 feet in length and 900 20 feet in length will be procured, which are to be used in 2022.

Still high demand

A further 401 trucks are to be procured from the existing framework agreement at a later date. In addition, it is foreseeable that more unprotected transport vehicles will be needed to fully cover mobility needs. The Bundeswehr estimates that it will have further requirements in the coming years at around 300 lorries with a payload of five tons and around 3,000 lorries with a payload of 15 tons. These projects are also to be dealt with in parliament this year.

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Bundeswehr Keeps Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicle in Shape
(Source: German Ministry of Defence; issued Oct. 8, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
The Marder armored personnel carrier is currently still the main weapon system of the Panzergrenadier armored infantry. To maintain its full potential until the end of its service life, the Bundeswehr plans to invest around 27 million euros in a new thermal imaging sight. On October 7th, the budget committee of the Bundestag gave the go-ahead for this.

The Bundeswehr wants to buy 244 new thermal imaging sights for the Marder infantry fighting vehicle. The package also includes accessories and spare parts. For a total of around 27 million euros, the thermal imaging sights are being procured, adjusted accordingly and integrated into the vehicles. Essential spare parts are no longer available for the thermal imaging target device currently in use, so it has to be replaced.

Get a good view

With thermal imaging aiming devices, targets are well recognized in the dark and even in poor visibility. For the night combat capability of the armored personnel carrier, and thus the armored infantryman, modern thermal imaging sights are essential. The new device is a variant of sighting devices that are already used in the remote-controlled light weapon station 200 and in the Fennek scout cars of the Joint Fire Support Teams of the artillery.

The Panzergrenadiers have been relying on the Marder infantry fighting vehicle since 1971. It has been modernized again and again and adapted to current requirements. It is currently being replaced by the new Puma infantry fighting vehicle, but the replacement will take some time. Until then, the Marder will continue to serve the Panzergrenadiers as a combat vehicle. The Marder will also be operated for a long time by the heavy Joint Fires Support Teams of the artillery and in the training organization. The replacement of the thermal imaging sight will therefore strengthen the operational readiness of the troops.

By June 2023, all armored personnel carriers should have been fitted with the new thermal imaging sight. If the new Puma has not yet reached the necessary operational readiness by then, the Marder is also ready to take over the tasks of the Puma in the VJTF Very High Readiness Joint Task Force 2023.


The project was approved by the budget committee of the German Bundestag on October 7, 2020, with a total volume of around 27 million euros, was presented as a 25 million euros bill. This term includes all procurement and development projects of the Bundeswehr with an investment volume of 25 million euros or more. These require the separate approval of the budget committee of the German Bundestag before the contract is concluded.

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