ATHENS ($1=0.93 Euros) — Ukraine will receive old East German BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles from the Soviet era and the Cold War. The “new” armored combat vehicles will be donated from the Greek army’s reserves after Athens and Berlin managed to agree in exchange for Greece to receive a German infantry fighting vehicle Marder.
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It is interesting that the Greek BMP-1, which will soon leave the battlefield in Ukraine, was actually donated by Germany as military aid in the distant 1995. Almost ten years later, Greece donated 100 of the German armored vehicles received to the Iraqi army, and in 2016 Egypt received 92 units from Greece.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have agreed on what to send Greece and what it will receive in return. Sources claim that the Greeks will receive the German Marder from the factory stocks of the German company Rheinmetall. It is estimated that about 155 units of the BMP-1 of the Greek army are still combat-ready and active.
Such a development was expected, as not for the first time [before the war in Ukraine] Athens is trying to negotiate the replacement of obsolete BMP-1 with other equipment. The war in Ukraine has catalyzed the negotiation process and helped the government in Berlin make a faster decision, in favor of Greece. The next step may be worrying: clarifying details on the transfer of BMP-1 to Ukraine and Marder to Greece. Greece wants this to happen quickly, judging by the speed with which Athens hastened to sign and announce the agreement.
This armored vehicle was invented in the mid-1960s and has been in service since 1966. However, its production was discontinued in 1982. The crew consists of three people. It weighs 13 tons and is powered by a UTD-20, 6-cylinder 4-stroke V-shaped airless-injection water-cooled multifuel 15.8-liter diesel engine. Reaches 300 hp [224 kW] at 2,600 rpm.
The suspension is an individual torsion bar with hydraulic shock absorbers on the 1st and 6th road wheels. The fuel tank holds 462 liters and one full tank can cover 500 or 600 km depending on the road.
Soviet BMP-1 is armed with a 73 mm smoothbore weapon model 2A28, low-pressure gun, and short recoil, weighing 115 kg. The secondary armament consists of a 7.62 mm paired machine gun mounted on the right side of the main armament.
In late 2014, the Greek BMP-1 was fitted with the ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft gun in place of the standard tower. After successful acceptance tests, the conversion of 72 vehicles is planned with the remaining BMP-1A1s retired from service
Marder has been the main fighting machine of the Bundeswehr’s tank and grenadier divisions since the 1970s. The sealed body is welded from sheets of several classes up to 30 mm thick, protecting the front of bullets 20 mm and 25 mm from a distance of 200 m, on the side of shrapnel, small arms 7.62 mm.
The capacity of the car is 10 people, including three crew members, two of whom [commander and shooter] are in the tower and the driver-mechanic in front of the hull on the left [on the road]. The combat part is located in the middle of the building.
The Marder IFV is armed with a 20-mm RH 202 automatic cannon and a paired 7.62-mm MG3 machine gun mounted on a carriage above the double turret. It also has an integrated anti-tank missile guidance system Milan, developed between France and Germany. The Rh 202 pistol is loaded with 20 × 139 mm cartridges. Another 7.62-mm MG3A1 machine gun is located on the roof of the landing unit and has a remote control.
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