How is the receipt of the Marder 1A3 and the transfer of the BMP-1 progressing

From Savvas D. Vlassis

The start of receipt of the first Marder 1A3 Armored Fighting Vehicles from Germany has not put an end to the opposition-style unfounded criticism of the government, while interestingly but even more disappointing, retirees are arriving at the scene, using retired BMP-1s as their “flag”. , to question even the correctness of the handling of the military leadership!

But as the manipulations were completely rational, it is clear that the retirees are either dangerously inadequate (and thus it is puzzling how some of them reached the highest offices), or they are simply misleading public opinion to create impressions, because their attitude serves personal purposes with partisan extensions. This, however, constitutes an ugliness to the detriment of the reputation of the Greek Army and their active colleagues.

Let’s see what has happened so far.

On October 17th, the first 6 Marder 1A3s were received, which were immediately forwarded to Formation in the 4th Army Corps Zone of Responsibility.

It went unnoticed but the German TOMAs arrived in Greece even before the BMP-1s left the country. Information indicates that the first BMP-1s departed today, October 21, that is, four days later. Thus, there was not the slightest reason for another level of populism, on the basis of “we give before we take”.

Another point that has not been mentioned is that the GES sent M113 armored vehicles to the island unit from which the BMP-1s were to be replaced, before the latter were loaded onto a ship to be transported to the mainland. In other words, the unit first received the M113s, without its operational readiness being affected even for a minute, and then only the BMP-1s were released.

This is pointed out because opposition criticism falsely claims that the BMP-1s were not replaced in order to reinforce the false narrative of the islands’ defenses being weakened. In fact, the GES improves the readiness of units replacing BMP-1s with M113s while strengthening the overall defense of the islands, with the independent additional deployment of armored M1117s.

The TOMAs were taken to the 308 Base Factory to be painted in the standard camouflage colors of the Hellenic Army and on October 21st they were transferred to the unit with which they will serve.

The next batch of Marder, consisting of 4 vehicles, is scheduled to arrive in Thrace on Monday, October 24th, midday.

Deliveries will evolve and be completed within December.

What none of the critics mention is that the cost of the work to restore the Marder 1A3s by Rheinmetall, the ammunition loads and the initial quantities of spare parts, as well as the transport costs, are covered by the German government, under the intergovernmental agreement made. With the receipt of 40 Marder 1A3s, as we have shown, the Greek Army will receive very valuable material that, if the Greek State were asked to pay, it would have to spend at least €60 million.

As for the BMP-1s delivered to Ukraine, they were painted in a single color, with a green shade of paint, the M2HB heavy machine gun has been removed and only the cover remains, while the crawlers still have the shoes that were developed with special plastic soles for driving on asphalt roads without causing damage to the road surface.

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