German Army Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicles
German Army Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicles

Bundeswehr Orders Upgrade of 143 Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicles

Germany’s Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has awarded Projekt System & Management GmbH (PSM), a joint venture of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall, an order to retrofit a further 143 Puma infantry fighting vehicles. In doing so, the German government is exercising two options contained in the contract for retrofitting original Puma infantry fighting vehicles to the new S1 design status. This contract was signed in June 2021.

The order volume is in the region of €770 million. By 2029, the key capabilities of firepower and command and control of all 143 Puma systems will be brought up to date. Exercising these options assures that every Puma in the Bundeswehr inventory will conform to the uniform S1 design status. Among other things, the retrofit includes integration of high-resolution day- and night-capable camera systems, the MELLS multirole-capable lightweight guided missile system, and digital radio equipment.

Two PUMA infantry fighting vehicles at full speed on the training grounds in Munster.
Two German Army Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicles at full speed on the training grounds in Munster. (Photo by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann)

The Puma is a German infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (Schutzenpanzer or short SPz) designed to replace the aging Marder IFVs currently in service with the German Army. Production of the first batch of 350 vehicles began in 2010 and was completed in August 2021. A second batch of 229 Pumas received funding. Mass production began on 6 July 2009. The companies responsible for this project are Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Landsysteme, which created a joint venture, Projekt System Management GmbH (PSM).

The primary armament is a Rheinmetall 30 mm MK 30-2/ABM (Air Burst Munitions) autocannon, which has a rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute and an effective range of 3,000 m. Keeping the weight within the 35-ton limit also led to a smaller calibre for the secondary armament, a coaxially mounted 5.56 mm HK MG4 machine gun firing at 850 rounds per minute and with an effective range of 1,000 m. To combat main battle tanks, helicopters, and infrastructure targets such as bunkers, the German Puma vehicles will be equipped with a turret-mounted EuroSpike Spike LR missile launcher. The Puma is one of the world’s best-protected IFVs, while still having a high power-to-weight ratio.

German Army Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicles
German Army Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) with dismounted infantry section with future soldier IdZ equipment. (Photo by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.