On the engine side, a new six-cylinder Liebherr is being installed, this one developing 750 horsepower against 600 horsepower for the original MTU engine. The existing gearbox is reinforced and updated to accommodate the new engine.
Other new features include a new battle management system including radios and new tracks, again the same ones used on the Puma.
The end result is an armored vehicle that belies its years ahead. After all, the Marder was part of the first generation of IFVs, which emerged from the radical changes of mechanized warfare in the 1950s.
Development of what became the Marder began in October 1962 with development contracts calling for an armored vehicle with a capacity of 12 infantry (later reduced to 10, and eventually to six or seven) that could fight inside the vehicle or on foot, a 20 mm caliber cannon, as well as nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection.
The first production Marder was handed over to the German Army in May 1971, and deliveries continued at a high rate, with around 3,000 vehicles in service by 1975. None of these were initially intended export, the Marder rather filling West Germany. Panzergrenadière (mechanized infantry) during the Cold War.
The vehicle gained a reputation for its good balance of armor protection and all-terrain mobility, which allowed it to keep pace with the Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 main battle tanks as part of a combined arms team. Indeed, the Marder’s design has proven to be very influential in general, and the US Army’s Bradley IFV, for example, has many characteristics in common.