Procurement: July 27, 2002


Germany has stopped work on the Schutzenpanzer-3, also known as the Modern Modular Weapon System and as the Panther, intended as the replacement for the Marder-1 mechanized infantry fighting vehicle. Officially, the suspension is to allow the vehicle to become more international (i.e., seeking a greater export market by including some foreign systems built by partners who buy the complete vehicle). In reality, the program has been pushed back to free up money for the A400M air transport program. The Germans need to replace the Marder-1 (the last of them were built in 1975) and the Army is howling at the delay. Moreover, finding export partners is going to be difficult. All of the NATO countries likely to buy them have already selected new IFVs except the Dutch, who need about 200 and want them by 2007 (too soon for delivery by a delayed Panther program). The Germans did approve six programs to go ahead this year, including a fiber-optic communications network, the Taurus modular cruise missile, a new military hospital, the MLG27 light naval gun, a service life extension for the Tornado strike fighter, and the MJ2000 naval minehunting program.--Stephen V Cole


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