Turkey’s nightmare: Marder and M-1117 “Guardian” power multipliers in Evros and islands – The next armament step the choice of “Lynx”

Speed, autonomy, armor and the ability to operate at night are characteristics that differentiate the German Marder 1 A3 from both the American M-113 and the Soviet BMP-1.

By Kostas Sarikas

The exchange of the German Marder 1A3 armored fighting vehicles with the Soviet-made BMP-1s that the Hellenic Armed Forces have in their arsenal did not arise after an initiative by Athens, but because of the great need for eastern-type weapon systems on the Ukrainian front. But in practice, if the Land Army succeeds in securing a significant number of TOMAs from the German Army – beyond the “one for one” exchange – it can take a big step in equipping the Mechanized and Armored Formations of the 4th Army Corps . Where today the needs for fast movement of the Infantry as well as support for the Armored Units are covered by the aging M-113.

Speed, autonomy, armor and the ability to operate at night are characteristics that differentiate the German Marder 1 A3 from both the American M-113 and the Soviet BMP-1. The much more powerful engine of 590 hp enables them to develop a speed exceeding 65 km. The larger fuel tanks allow them an autonomy exceeding 500 km. Their reinforced armor increases the chances of survival on the battlefield.

While a big “trump card” is the 20mm gun equipped with a thermal periscope which enables it to operate at night unlike the M-113 and the BMP-1 which when darkness falls are essentially unarmed . Behind perhaps the best tanks in the world, the Leopard 2 Hel and the Leopard 2 A4, the TOM and TOMA that the Army has had until now are impossible to follow. Although the Marders are not state-of-the-art TOMAs like the “Lynx” without a doubt, as emphasized by all the Staff in Armored and Motorized Units, they can cope clearly better. Thus, they can be a reliable solution, while in the event of acquiring “Lynx” they will be used in a secondary but equally crucial role in operations that require rapid movement and support with precision fire day and night.

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After all, the also German “Lynx” have already received the green light from the Army Staff after the recent presentation at the Armored Training Center in Avlonas. Designed in 2015, they are among the most modern TOMAs in the world arsenal. With powerful armor, high-tech electronic aids and great firepower.

In the battle tower they have a 30 mm gun of various versions and a 7.62 machine gun. They use high yield ammunition against different targets. In addition to the armouring, i.e. the passive protection, the Lynx have the possibility of adding active protection systems, while they can develop a speed of up to 70 km – that is, the same as the Leopard 2 Hel – while their autonomy exceeds 500 km.

At the same time, the first impressions conveyed by the Unit Executives on the islands and Evros to the Ground Army Staff for the also newly acquired American M-1117 armored wheeled vehicles are more than satisfactory for the capabilities of the “Guardian”. Which, together with number M-113, not only replace the BMP-1s which are granted to Germany for the Ukrainian front, but are a power multiplier in the defense of the islands.

The only problem is the absence of the 40mm MK-19 grenade launchers, but the GES has already made contact with the American Army to grant a significant number of grenade launchers, which are the main weapon system of the “Guardian” wheeled vehicles. Which on the narrow roads of the islands are superior in flexibility and speed of reaction against the BMP-1 crawlers and also the M-113. With the basic mission of the immediate movement to deal with landing energy and pre-bridging or air landing energy in difficult parts of the islands.

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