German Army receives first production-standard Puma AIFV

BLACKEAGLE

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Christopher F Foss, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
22 June 2015


A production-standard Puma AIFV with full armour package being put through its paces and clearly showing the remote-controlled turret armed with a 30 mm cannon and 5.56 mm co-axial MG. Also visible is the MUSS ATGW countermeasure system mounted on top of the commander's panoramic sighting system. Source: PSM

Germany's Bundeswehr formally took delivery of its first production Puma armoured infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV) from Projekt System & Management GmbH (PSM) on 23 June during a ceremony held at the Unterlüss Proving Ground.

The first production batch of Puma AIFVs has been used for extensive verification trials in Germany and overseas (including Norway and the United Arab Emirates), leading to the formal 'approval for service use' permit being issued in mid-April 2015.

An initial seven production-standard Pumas have been allocated to trainers at the Munster Training Centre through to the end of 2015. PSM will deliver production-standard Pumas to Munster, where they will be fitted with government-furnished equipment and then be handed over to the troops for a three-month training period. Those troops will then return to their home bases with the vehicles to train the remaining Puma crews.

To enable a high readiness rate to be achieved, contracts for the maintenance and logistical support of the Puma are already in place between PSM and the Bundeswehr.

Under the original plan it was expected that 405 Pumas would be procured, but this has now been reduced to 350, all of which are scheduled to be delivered by 2020. Included in the 350-vehicle fleet are eight driver training vehicles.

The Puma AIFV is the replacement for the current Rheinmetall Landsysteme Marder 1 IFV, which entered service with the Bundeswehr in 1971, although it has been constantly upgraded since then, the latest version being the Marder 1A5 developed for deployment to Afghanistan.

According to PSM, the total value of the Puma contract is now EUR4.3 billion (USD4.9 billion) including additional equipment.

The Puma has already undergone a number of major design changes, including modifications to the hull that included adding an additional road wheel either side for improved mobility.

The vehicle is also fitted with a remote-controlled turret (RCT) armed with a stabilised dual-feed 30 mm Mauser MK 30-2 cannon, which can also fire air-bursting munitions, and a Heckler & Koch (H&K) 5.56 mm MG4 co-axial machine gun. Consideration is now being given to replacing the MG4 with a larger-calibre 7.62 mm machine gun from either H&K or Rheinmetall.

These weapons are coupled to a computerised day/night fire control system that allows stationary and moving targets to be engaged with a high first-round hit probability while the vehicle is moving.

The commander has a roof-mounted day/night panoramic sighting system that allows for hunter/killer target engagements to take place in which the commander locates the target and, if confirmed as hostile, hands it over to the gunner to conduct the engagement.

The baseline Puma weighs 31.45 tonnes to allow it to be airlifted by an Airbus A400M transport, but when fitted with its full armour package the vehicle's weight is increased to 41 tonnes, with a stretch potential to 43 tonnes.

The armour package is a mixture of passive and explosive reactive armour and, according to PSM, the Puma has a higher level of mine protection that the Leopard 2 main battle tank.

PSM is a 50/50 joint venture between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Defence established to handle the design, development, and production of the Puma AIFV.

The original contract was awarded to PSM in 2004, although since then there have been a number of contract amendments as a result of changes in requirements and trials, with the original systems demonstrator completed late in 2005 and five pre-production vehicles completed between 2006 and 2007.

German Army receives first production-standard Puma AIFV - IHS Jane's 360
 

Waynefire

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That is a cool looking vehicle. I know that this is a vehicle that will take quite a few hits from the look of it! Very tough looking vehicle.
 
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