Marder 1A3

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The Marder 1A3 as it appears in Steel Beasts Professional

Marder 1A3: Infantry Fighting Vehicle


Main Gun: Rheinmetall Rh101 20x139mm Machine Cannon (BMK)
Ammunition Stowage: 500 ready/750 stowed
Default Ammunition "A": 170/200 DM63 APDS-T, 330/550 DM81 HE-I-T

ATGM: Milan 2
Ammunition Stowage: 1 ready/4 stowed
Default Ammunition "A": 1/4 Milan 2

  • Note that currently the option to use the MILAN launcher at the TC’s hatch is not implemented in Steel Beasts Professional.

Turret Machine Gun*: 7.62mm MG3A1 (*non-coaxial MG)
Ammunition Stowage: 500 ready/3000 stowed
Default Ammunition: 500/3000 7.62mm DE

Grenades: Smoke Grenades
Ammunition Storage: 1 salvo ready/2 stowed
Default Ammunition "A": 1/2 Smoke

Armor Protection:
Front Turret: Protected from 30mm AP
Front Hull: Protected from 30mm AP

Combat Mass: 34 tonnes
Length: 6.88m
Width: 3.38m
Height: 3.015m
Engine Power: 600hp MTU MB 833 Ea-500 6-cylinder diesel
Top Speed: 65kph


Developed by the Rheinstahl group in the early 1960s to replace the less than successful Schützenpanzer Lang HS.30, the Marder (Ger: Marten) is a medium IFV in service with the Bundeswehr. Early competitive prototypes were made in 1961 and 1963, with the final prototype and pre-production vehicles manufactured in 1967 and 1968. The first vehicles entered formal service in 1970 and production of the Marder essentially ended in 1975 (the chassis was produced until 1983 for Roland SAM carriers), with approximately 2100 vehicles produced.

The Marder family has a number of unique features when compared to contemporary IFVs. Hull construction is all welded steel, rather than aluminum, providing frontal protection against 20mm APDS and all-round protection from small-arms fire and shell fragments. Early versions carried firing ports similar to those of the later Bradley Fighting Vehicle along the hull sides, and a remote controlled MG on the rear deck above the rear door. Subsequent variants increased frontal armor protection to 30mm APDS standards and added spaced armor to the sides and top, resulting in the firing ports being covered over with the new armor package.

Motive power is provide by a 600hp MTU MB 833 Ea-500 6-cylinder diesel coupled to a Renk 4-speed HSWL 194 planetary transmission with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. Top speed was initially 75kph, but the additional armor of the Marder 1A3 has slowed this to 65kph. Suspension is of the torsion bar type with rubber padded Diel track and three return rollers. Unlike many other IFVs, the Marder cannot swim.

Main armament consists of a Rh101 20x139mm Machine Cannon and a 7.62mm MG3A1 machine gun. Both are unstabilized and mounted externally above the two-man turret, allowing for minimal vehicle exposure while in a hull-down position. Separate day optics are provided for both gunner and vehicle commander (Peri Z11) while the gunner is equipped with the WOE PERI Z 59 thermal sight. In its original configuration, the Marder carried no ATGM, but began receiving an externally mounted MILAN anti-tank guided missile launcher at the TC's station in 1975 (currently non-functional, rev. 4.019).

The dismount section for the Marder 1A3 is 6 men, carrying 2 PzF 3 light anti-armor weapons, a MG3, and 5.56mm rifles.

In combat, the Marder is much like its cousins, the BMP series and the much bigger Bradley. Although not currently modeled in Steel Beasts Professional, the Milan missile makes it a real threat to tanks, and the Marder's 20mm cannon enables it to support its squad with heavy volumes of fire. If defending, users will have to choose between stationing it where it can best support and move its troops, or stationing it where it can best use its missile to act as a tank destroyer in an ambush. If attacking, Marders require overwatch for protection as even the Marder 1A3's improved armor is unlikely to stop an ATGM, tank round, or RPG.

Although initially in use only by the Bundeswehr, as the Marder is replaced in German service by the Puma IFV, increasing numbers are being exported as part of “military aid” packages. Therefore, besides the Bundeswehr, current operators include Chile, Indonesia, and Jordan, along with Argentina, which uses the Marder based TAM family of vehicles.

Thermal Signature

Marder 1A3 TIS image, front-right Marder 1A3 TIS image, rear-left

Crew Positions

Tank Commander's Position F7

TC's unbuttoned view

In Steel Beasts Professional the tank commander's (TC) position on the Marder 1A3 is fully crew-able and modeled. The TC's position is accessed by pressing F7.

From this position the user can raise and lower their perspective (and exposure level) by holding the Q key (to go up) and the Z key (to go down). The TC can also button or unbutton (close and open the TC's hatch) by pressing the B key (toggle). While unbuttoned, the TC may also wish to use binoculars to get a closer view on a distant area by pressing the N key (toggle).

From the F1 interior view, the N key is also used for getting a closer look/access different panels in the turret.

TC's interior view

The TC also has smoke grenades at his disposal. The TC can fire a single smoke salvo by pressing TAB, once expended the grenade launches will need to be reloaded.

  • The usefulness of the smoke grenade launches should not be underestimated, and it is one of the most useful tools at the disposal of the TC. Smoke grenade launchers are a vital tool for the security of the vehicle and should be used for a variety or reasons. These include, but are not limited to: attempting to break contact with the enemy, protection against non thermal sight equipped threats, and protecting the vehicle from enemy attempts to range you with an laser range finder. At the same time, care should be taken on when smoke is deployed since you are basically announcing your location to anyone else who might be unaware of it.


Located between Gunner and TC is the Hauptbediengeraet (HBG=main control panel) and the control panel for the TIS system. This is accessed by looking at it in the F1 view and pressing the N key. Note that most of the panel's buttons and switches are non-functional, but the most important are modeled:

  • To the far upper left are 3 buttons: HE, 0, and AP. These buttons are for selecting the feed chute to the main gun. "0" selects the neutral position, while HE is for for high explosive, and AP for armor piercing or APDS rounds. In the image above AP is selected (lit in yellow).
  • To the right of the ammo select buttons are the main gun select (MK gewählt - select main gun) and end of belt warning switches: HE Mun Ende (EoB HE) for HE and AP Mun Ende (EoB AP) for AP and APDS. By default the end of belt warning switches are set to “off”, but when switched “on” will inhibit firing once the end of the ammunition belt is reached (last round disappears into the feed-chute). Once you are past this point, you can not attach additional ammo to the belt, and reload times will increase significantly. Note: AP EoB is ~48 rounds remaining and HE EoB is ~75 rounds.
  • At the far right are the machine gun select (MG gewählt - select TMG) and end of belt warning switch MG Mun Ende (EoB TMG) for the machine gun. The TMG EoB is ~40 rounds.
  • Flicking either the main gun or machine gun select switches to the “on” position (up) will choose the respective weapon. Note: The MK and TMG can not be fired at the same time!!
  • In the center marked “HAUPT EIN” is the turret main power switch.
  • Along the bottom of the panel are the left and right grenade launcher buttons, the grenade launcher arming switch and status lights, and at the far right, the panel light test switch.

Just above the HBG sits the TIS-control panel. The functional buttons here change the TIS polarity from white hot to black hot. You can also switch the TIS on and off.

Commander's Sights

On the Marder 1A3 the commander is provided both day and thermal optics for both observation and engagement of targets and a unity window for general observation.

Day optics consist of a Carl Ziess Peri Z11 periscope with a 2x wide field of view (WFoV) and 6x narrow field of view (NFoV). This sight is identical to that mounted at the gunner's station and is covered fully in that section. The TC can access the day sight by pressing F3

TC's day sight view, low magnification

Between the day and thermal sights is a 1x unity window that covers the area directly to the turrets front. Press Alt+F1 to access the unity window.

TC's unity window view

Lastly, the Marder TC is provided an extension for the TIS. The image is displayed in a small relaxed viewing monitor that offers a slightly reduced 1.33x and 5.5x magnification compared to the gunner's view. As with the day sight, the TC can confirm what gunner is looking at and can override the gunner onto another target or even choose to engage the target himself. Press F2 to access this sight.

TC's GPS extension view, low magnification

Once in the GPSE view, the sight functions identically to the Gunners TIS view (which is explained in the gunner's section).

TC's vision block view

TC's vision block view

On some occasions the TC may need to quickly look around the vehicle without having to spin the turret and without having to expose himself to hostile fire. The vision block view allows the TC to remain safely inside the vehicle and quickly scan around for close threats. It is most useful when enemy infantry are in the immediate area. Access the TC's vision block view by pressing F4.

Once in the vision block view, the mouse or joystick can be used to quickly and seamlessly pan the TC's view from vision block to vision block, allowing him to scan around the vehicle. While the vision block view completely protects the TC from hostile fire, it does have an extremely limited field of view and offers no magnification.

Key listing for Marder 1A3 TC's position

General Commands:

TAB: Pop smoke. Launches smoke grenades to deploy a smoke screen in the direction that the turret is facing. Useful for breaking up enemy LRF or completely obscuring your vehicle against a non-thermal sight equipped threat.

Joystick Button #3 or P: Override gunner. Press and hold.

F2 = TC daysight (Peri Z11).

F3 = GPSE (sight extension of the TIS system).

F4 = Access to vision blocks.

ALT+F1= TC unitary sight.

SPACEBAR = Single fire BMK (when overriding).

SPACEBAR+SHIFT = Burst fire (when overriding).

Q: Raise position in hatch. Moves the TC's view and exposure level up in the hatch.

Z: Lower position in hatch. Moves the TC's view and exposure level down in the hatch.

B: Button hatches. Moves the TC's view down and closes the hatch. This is useful for protection from artillery and small-arms. A second press unbuttons the hatch, to a covered-protected position, with a third press opening the hatches completely.

N: Multipurpose zoom (toggle). When the TC is unbuttoned, this will bring toggle the binocular view. When the TC is inside the turret this key will make the TC lean forward, essentially zooming in on that spot in the turret. In either sight view this switches between high and low magnification.

LEFT ARROW / RIGHT ARROW: When in the TC's eye view F1, pressing these keys will cause the TC to face to the left or right of the main gun (turret).

UP ARROW: Multipurpose. When in the TC's eye view F1, pressing this key will cause the TC to face in the direction of the gun (turret).

DOWN ARROW: Multipurpose. When in the TC's eye view F1, pressing this key will cause the TC to face to the rear of the turret.

U: Unload troops.

SHIFT + U: Load troops.

Driver related commands:

SHIFT + BACKSPACE: Shut down / startup engine (toggle). Orders the driver to shut off or start up the engine. If the TC is a platoon leader then it orders the platoon to execute a "short count" and simultaneously shut down or start up their engines.

W: Driver, move out. Instructs the driver to move forward (press again for increased speed.

S: Driver, stop. Instructs the driver to stop.

X: Driver, backup. Instructs the driver to reverse.

A: Driver, go left. Instructs the driver to go left (hold the key).

D: Driver, go right. Instructs the driver to go right (hold the key).

Gunner related commands:

SPACE BAR: Multipurpose. Orders the gunner to fire at a target he is looking at when not overriding the gunner. If the TC is overriding the turret, the this will fire the main gun.

H: Hold fire. Orders the gunner to hold fire. If the TC is a platoon leader then it will also order the platoon to hold fire.

F: Fire at will. Orders the gunner to fire at will. If the TC is a platoon leader then it will also order the platoon to fire at will.

E: Engage. Orders the gunner to engage, and instructs the driver to take up a battle position. If the TC is a platoon leader then it orders the platoon to engage and take up a battle position in the direction of the user's view.

,: Hydraulic mode. Orders to gunner to put the turret in manual mode.

.: Emergency mode. Orders the gunner to put the fire control system in emergency mode.

M: Coax / Main gun (toggle). Orders the gunner to toggle between the main gun and coax to engage targets.

SHIFT + LEFT ARROW: Gunner, scan left. Orders the gunner to put move the turret approximately 45 degrees to the left and scan for targets.

SHIFT + RIGHT ARROW: Gunner, scan right. Orders the gunner to put move the turret approximately 45 degrees to the right and scan for targets.

SHIFT + UP ARROW: Gunner, scan front. Orders the gunner to put the gun over the front and scan for targets.

INSERT: Fire AP. Orders the gunner to switch the beltfeeder to AP rounds, or switches the beltfeeder to AP if override is used.

DELETE: Fire HE. Orders the gunner to switch the beltfeeder to HE rounds, or switches the beltfeeder to HE if override is used.

SHIFT + INS: Orders the IFV crew to reload all weapons AP rounds.

SHIFT + DEL: Orders the IFV crew to reload all weapons HE rounds.

SHIFT + PAGE DOWN: Reload all. Orders the tank crew to reload all weapons systems.

Gunner's Position F6

In Steel Beasts Professional the gunner's position on the Marder 1A3 is fully modeled and crew-able. The gunner's position is accessed by pressing F6.

Thermal Imaging Sight (TIS)
Marder 1A3 TIS view, 2x magnification

The gunner's thermal imaging sight is the primary sight used by the gunner to engage and destroy targets. On the Marder 1A3 this is the WOE (Warme-Ortungs-Empfanger) PERI Z59 sighting system providing 2x and 8x magnified views. The sight is accessed by pressing the F2 key. Pressing + on the num pad toggles the TIS between on and standby (off), while pressing - on the num pad toggles the sight's polarity.

Marder 1A3 TIS view, 8x magnification

In the 2x magnification Wide Field of View (WFoV), the sight will display a “framing reticle” that outlines the area that will be magnified in the 8x Narrow Field of View (NFoV). The WFoV is used to quickly scan the terrain, looking for any hot spots that stand out. Once a heat signature is spotted, press N to zoom in, switching the sight to the NFoV.

In this view you can track and engage a target. The TIS 8x view is excellent for engaging targets that may be behind woods or vegetation, behind thin clouds of dust, and behind conventional smoke screens. The TIS is also at an extreme advantage over non-TIS equipped foes in low visibility conditions such as night, poor weather, or fog. The disadvantage of the TIS view is that target identification can be difficult, especially at long range (depending on the quality of the sight). As a trigger puller, you need to be extremely certain that what you are observing indeed is an enemy vehicle before committing an act of fratricide. The best way to be certain of this (in good visibility) is to switch to daylight view once a target is acquired. That said, gunners with experience will memorize thermal signatures of all vehicles to the point that they can identify targets in the TIS as effectively as they can in daylight view.

Daylight Sight

The daylight sight is mostly used when the TIS is damaged or, in good visibility conditions, to better identify targets. On the Marder 1A3 this is the Carl Ziess Peri Z11 and features a 2x wide field of view (WFoV) and 6x narrow field of view (NFoV). The WFoV also doubles as the Air-Defense Sight. The day sight view is accessed by pressing F2.

Inputting Range

To the respective right and left sides of the gun near the top are the TC and gunner's Aufsatz range dials (gray, cone shaped objects with range scales on it them). These may be accessed in the F1 interior view by looking at them, zooming in with the N key, and manipulating them with the mouse. While on low and medium realism settings, the scale will be projected into the optical sights, in order to make it a bit easier for the player to select ranges.

On the dial you’ll find GREEN, RED and BLACK numbers:

  • GREEN = APDS rounds.
  • RED = AP and HE rounds.
  • BLACK = Turret machine-gun.

Rotating the mouse wheel up and down or pressing SHIFT+ UP/DOWN ARROW changes the range setting of the gun (the center cross-hair gets adjusted to the given range). Ranges are indicated at the little white gaps in the physical range dials, or with a black indicator wire in the “virtual” projection.

Engaging Targets

Engaging targets with either day of thermal optics can be a complicated affair. Obviously the first thing you need to do to engage a target is to acquire it. The best way to do this is by using the TIS 2x sight. Once a target is acquired, the gunner should switch to 8x magnification by pressing N and place the cross in the center of the reticle on the target.

At this point you will have to use stadiametric range estimation to range the target. A good rule of thumb for the Peri Z11 in NFoV is that a BMP-2 is slightly bigger than the central cross-hair at ~800m away. Note that the effective range against light-armored targets is roughly 1000m, and against tanks the best you can hope is to damage optics, tracks, and other external components at ranges below 600m. With this in mind, the Aufsatz should be set to 800m AP (the AI will do this automatically). This will allow engagement of all targets within effective range when using AP (APDS) between ~500 and ~1100m with only minor reticle adjustments.

It is advised NOT to engage targets beyond 1100m.

GPS view, some lead applied on a moving target

It is important to understand that the Marder 1A3 lacks an FCS and therefore does NOT induce lead. Lead is the term used to refer to putting a gun in front of a target which is moving perpendicular to your vantage point. When you lead a target, you essentially need to fire in front of target at the point in which the round and target will meet. Since the Marder's FCS does not calculate lead, then the gunner must estimate and apply lead himself, and he does this with the use of the horizontal lines to the left and right of the central aiming point, and with a bit of skill.


Once the range to the target is determined and, if the target is moving, appropriate lead applied, the gun is ready to be fired. To fire the main gun press SPACEBAR or Joystick Button 1 for single fire or SHIFT+SPACEBAR (or even SHIFT+Joystick Button 1) for continuous fire. The round(s) will now be launched down range and the enemy will hopefully be rewarded with a quick and painless death. Pressing the M key toggles between main gun and coax.

Indexing Ammo

If the TC orders a change of the main gun ammo type (ie. from AP to HE), you must select the new ammo type when the round is loaded by pressing INSERT (AP) or DELETE (HE). This is referred to as "indexing" the round type. Essentially the gunner selects the appropriate button on the HBG, thereby selecting the correct feed-chute. Of course, the gunner or TC can change ammunition types at any time using the same keys.

Gunner's left-front vision block view

In the event that you miss the target, you should relay on the original aiming point, then simply adjust the sight in relation to where the round hit and walk it into the target. You should not waste valuable time estimating the range to the target again unless the target is rapidly moving towards or away from you.

Gunner's Auxiliary Sight (GAS)

Unlike most western "tanks", the Marder does NOT have a true auxiliary sight, the backup daylight gun sight being the commander's Peri Z11 day sight.

Gunner's Vision Blocks

The gunner has three vision blocks, which cover the vehicle's left side, and may be accessed by pressing F4 and using the joystick or mouse to move from block to block.

Key listing for the Marder 1A3 gunner's position

Weapon system commands:

SPACE BAR: Fire selected weapon. Fires either the main gun or coax (selection dependent, see below).

SHIFT + SPACE BAR: Burst fire. Fires the main gun at high rate.

M: Switches between gun and coax (Toggle).

SHIFT + B: Button ballistic sight cover. Closes the cover for the Gunners sights IOT protect them from artillery or small arms fire.

N: Multipurpose zoom (toggle). When the Gunner is inside the turret view this key will make the Gunner lean forward, essentially zooming in on that spot in the turret. In Peri Z11 or TIS mode this switches between high and low magnification.

* and / : Focus control when using the TIS.

INSERT: Switches the beltfeeder to AP rounds.

DELETE: Switches the beltfeeder to HE rounds.

,: Hydraulic mode. Toggles between hydraulic and manual modes.

LEFT ARROW / RIGHT ARROW: Manual traverse. Tap to traverse the turret using the manual hand crank. Tap the keys quicker to traverse the turret faster.

UP ARROW / DOWN ARROW: Manual elevation. Tap to elevate the main gun using the manual hand crank. Tap the keys quicker to elevate the main gun faster.

Tank commander related commands:

T: Identified! Tells the TC that you have located a target and that you are going to engage it. Essentially it tells the AI TC to leave you alone while you engage and forbids the AI from guiding you to another target. Use at your own risk.

I: I can't see it! Tells the TC that you cannot see a target or the one he is commanding you to engage. Essentially it tells the AI TC to guide you on to a target that it wants you to engage.

Driver related commands:

W: Driver, move out. Instructs the driver to move forward (press again for increased speed.

S: Driver, stop. Instructs the driver to stop.

X: Driver, backup. Instructs the driver to reverse.

A: Driver, go left. Instructs the driver to go left (hold the key).

D: Driver, go right. Instructs the driver to go right (hold the key).

Driver's Position F9

In Steel Beasts the driver's position on the Marder 1A3 is crew-able, but only partially modeled with a rudimentary interior view. The driver's position is accessed by pressing F9. Once in the driver's position, you can drive the vehicle by using the joystick or W A S D X keys.

Driver's vision blocks

When buttoned up, the driver views the world through 3 vision blocks set in the roof of his compartment. You can also unbutton the driver and raise his view by holding Q and you can lower the driver and make him button up by holding Z.

Squad Leader's Position F11

Pressing F11 accesses the squad leader's position in the vehicle's troop compartment. From here the user can control the carried infantry squad independently from the Marder with the following options:

Q: Raise position in hatch. Moves the Dismount team view above the hatch and opens the hatch.

Z: Lower position in hatch. Moves the Dismount team view below the hatch and closes it.

U: dismounts the infantry team when the IFV is stationary.

SHIFT + U: mounts the infantry team when the IFV is stationary.

N: Use binoculars in the un-buttoned position.

In the vehicle's control menu (right low side of the screen) different actions can be selected for the infantry (same as for dismounted troops, see wiki entry). They can shoot their small arms as well as grenades at given targets (using the “suppress here” and related commands) but they can not use their AT weapons or crew served weapons from this position.


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