Prominent in the outside display on the opening day of INDODEFENCE 2016 in Jakarta on 2 November is the demonstrator for the Rheinmetall Medium Tank RI (Republic of Indonesia). Based on the MARDER 1A3 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) chassis and designed to be interoperable with both MARDER and LEOPARD fleets within targeted nations, the RI is an advanced solution for medium weight, high firepower armoured vehicles.
“The Indonesian requirement is for a medium weight vehicle, under 35t, armed with a 105mm main armament in a three man turret,” Davor Bendin, Vice President Sales Asia/Australia told Mönch at the show. He added that the three man turret requirement is currently under consideration as the benefits of an auto-loader solution are evaluated by the user.
Rheinmetall’s solution offers a 105mm main gun in the Leonardo (ex-OTO-Melara) HITFACT II turret, capable of firing any standard NATO munition. Capable of mounting a 105mm or a 120mm gun, the turret can be configured for two- or three-man operation, entirely at the operator’s choice. The primary differences between the HITFACT II and its predecessor (HITFACT I) lie in a fully digital optronics sensor suite and electric turret drives. The HITFACT I is an already proven system, in service on CENTAURO vehicles for the Italian Army (400 vehicles,) the Spanish Army (84) and the Omani Royal Guard (9).
An optional fit for the turret is the GUARDIAN M3 jammer, according to company representatives at the show, though it is unclear whether this is an option being considered by Indonesia as yet. However, Bendin indicated that a formal evaluation of the MARDER RI will take place at an as yet undetermined date and that the company is confident that production and deliveries could begin very quickly after a selection process has been completed.