Rheinmetall has delivered the first tranche of Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) to the Hellenic Armed Forces as part of a military “backfill” initiated by the German government.

Following the delivery, the Hellenic Armed Forces featured the IFVs on parade in Thessaloniki.

In exchange for the Marders, Greece will provide Ukrainian forces with Soviet-made IFVs and other military equipment to support the country in its ongoing struggle to repel the Russian invasion.

The military aid for Ukraine will include integrated services, training, spare parts, and ammunition from the German Armed Forces and Rheinmetall.

The delivery is expected to be complete by the end of 2023.

According to Rheinmetall, the Marders provided to Greece were part of Germany’s military vehicle stocks.

The company has prepared the Marders since the spring at its Unterlüß facility for immediate use. Overhaul of the first batch was completed in October.

“The backfill activity is a procedure developed by the German government to support Ukraine in its efforts against the Russian invasion in cooperation with its European neighbours and NATO partners,” Rheinmetall stated.

“NATO partners hand over equipment from former Soviet production to Ukraine and receive available systems from Western production in return.”

Germany’s Recent Support for Ukraine

Last August, the German Federal Ministry of Defence signed a declaration of intent to provide Slovakia with Leopard 2 main battle tanks.

Slovakia will also donate its BVP-1 light amphibious IFVs to Ukraine in a similar operation.

Germany and Slovakia will also construct a repair hub to support service and upkeep of hardware both countries have delivered to Ukraine, German Christine Lambrecht announced earlier in November.

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