Germany would struggle to find the 40 Marder IVCs promised to Ukraine for March

On January 5, following the announcement by France of the forthcoming delivery of an undetermined number of AMX-10RC, Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, jointly announced to his American counterpart Joe Biden who promised 50 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), the delivery of 40 Marder IFVs, a tracked armored vehicle weighing more than 35 tonnes capable of first line 6 armed soldiers, and to support their engagement with a 20mm cannon, a 7,62mm machine gun and a MILAN anti-tank missile launcher. While everything indicates that the Ukrainian armies intend to launch, at the beginning of the spring, a vast offensive to liberate the territory still under Russian control, before adversary armies and industry can regain numerical advantage, it was therefore necessary, for Olaf Scholz as for Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron, to promise their new armored cars for the month of March.

Yet according to an article published by the news site Spiegel, it seems that the announcement made by the German Chancellor caught everyone across the Rhine by surprise. Indeed, neither industry, nor the armies, and not even the Ministry of Defence, had been consulted, according to German journalists, by the Chancellor before this promise, visibly obtained more by Joe Biden than anticipated by the Berlin executive. And today, the alternatives to actually deliver the 40 Marder promised to Kyiv according to the planned schedule, are far from obvious, and even less satisfactory, while the Bundeswehr like German industrialists are already facing the most important constraints. to maintain the country's minimum defensive capabilities.

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It is true that from the start of the conflict in Ukraine, Rheinmetall and KMW announced that they were able to put a certain number of armored vehicles back into service, such as Guépard anti-aircraft systems, tanks Leopard 1 and Marder IFVs, to support the Ukrainian effort in the face of Russian aggression. However, and this was perfectly explained by the industrialists, it was not only necessary to obtain the approval of the German authorities, but also to obtain the credits and the time necessary to put these currently mothballed armored vehicles back into service. And to put around forty Marders back into service in industrial stock, the deadlines are longer than the few weeks anticipated by Berlin, provided that the order and the credits coming from the Ministry of Defense are transmitted within very short deadlines, domain in which the German bureaucracy is far from excelling.

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