Chilean Army Marder Infantry Fightings Vehicles and Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks
Chilean Army Marder Infantry Fightings Vehicles and Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks

Chile to Upgrade Its Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicles and Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks

Monch reported that the Chilean state-owned manufacturer Famae has selected OIP Land Systems (an Elbit Systems company) to modernise the fire control system (FCS) of the service’s LEOPARD 2A4s, and their associated simulators, plus the sighting and targeting systems of the MARDER 1A3 fleet. FAMAE (Fábricas y Maestranzas del Ejército) is a Chilean state-owned firearms manufacturer. Its products are used by the Chilean armed forces and the Carabineros police force. Turkish defense companies Aselsan has also been selected to provide new internal communications systems for both vehicles.

Chilean Army Marder Infantry Fightings Vehicles and Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks
Chilean Army Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks (Photo by Ejército de Chile)

OIP must therefore develop the basic and conceptual engineering, before making the modifications that allow installation of the new observation and targeting system. A mid-life upgrade has been planned for the LEOPARDs (approximately 170 units) and MARDERs (approximately 280 units) since their acquisition some 15 years ago. In 2018, the Army’s Directorate of Projects and Investigations (DIPRIDE) initiated the ‘PROACO’ programme, to develop modernisation plans for the upgrades noted above. An estimated budget of $7 million (€5.9 million) was approved for development of prototypes and in 2020 the Army assigned the project to FAMAE.

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Chilean Army Marder Infantry Fightings Vehicles and Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks
Chilean Army Marder Infantry Fightings Vehicles (Photo by Ejército de Chile)(Photo by Ejército de Chile)

Chile had originally sought to buy the tanks from Switzerland, but the sale of 93 tanks was canceled external link in November 2005. The Chilean Army acquired 132 Leopard 2A4s upgraded to the Leopard 2A4CHL standard (plus 8 to be used as spares) from German stocks in 2007. Fully 132 of these tanks will also be modernized, and will form 3 groups within Chile’s northern armored brigade. The remaining 8 tanks will be used as replacements, and/or for simulation and training. The Leopard 2s will replace the Chilean army’s Leopard 1 tanks. About 70 were bought second-hand from Germany, and over 200 were bought second-hand from the Netherlands in 1998-99.

Chilean Army Marder Infantry Fightings Vehicles and Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks
Chilean Army Marder Infantry Fightings Vehicles (Photo by Ejército de Chile)

Around 2,100 were taken into service by the German Army in the early 1970s, but the vehicle in its German variant was not sold to any foreign militaries. As the German Army began to retire older vehicles, the German government agreed to sell 200 Marders; the government of Greece has considered the purchase of 450 retired vehicles in the past. Acquired to offer support to the Leopard 2A4CH and Leopard 1V main battle tanks due to it’s speed and armour, Chile bought 280 Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles from the 1996 batch of the German Army that were retired in 1999.

 Chilean Army Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks (Photo by Ejército de Chile)
Chilean Army Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks (Photo by Ejército de Chile)
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