June 3, 2015
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
LifeNews reports that it obtained information pertaining to business correspondence between private Bulgarian firm BIEC with Ukrainian Spetstekhnoeksport (a subsidiary of Ukroboronprom state defense firm) concerning the purchase by Kiev of 300 Marder infantry fighting vehicles formerly of the Bundeswehr. According to a March 16 letter, BIEC offered Ukraine to buy 300 demilitarized Marders as “emergency rescue vehicles” at 48 thousand euro per vehicle.
2136 Marders were built for the Bundeswehr by the Rheinstahl group between 1971 and 1979. These vehicles are being gradually withdrawn since 2000 and right now Bundeswehr has only 521 of these vehicles, many of which are in storage. In a few years they will be completely replaced by the new Puma IFVs. The German MOD sold 237 Marders to Chile and 80 to Indonesia. The remainder have been withdrawn from service, demilitarized through the removal of equipment, and are gradually being scrapped.
J.Hawk’s Comment: Considering that the UAF is having a hard time maintaining even its BMP-2 IFVs, the Marder purchase would be a good public relations coup (“Look, NATO is arming us!”), but not much more than that. Leaving aside the fact the vehicles are disarmed and were designed for weapons not in UAF’s inventory, what about spare parts? Marders are not Saxons, tracked vehicles in general are much more of a headache to maintain than wheeled ones.