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German Armed Forces Orders 50 More Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicles for €1.1 Billion

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German Armed Forces Orders 50 More Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicles for €1.1 Billion

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

Germany’s two top military vehicle makers, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall, have been awarded an order to build a further fifty Puma infantry fighting vehicles. Including value added tax, the total value of the order comes to €1.087 billion. Of this amount, €574 million will go to KMW and €501 million to Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH, both of which are serving as subcontractors in the project. A contract to this effect has now been issued by Germany’s Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in Koblenz. The general contractor is Projekt System & Management GmbH (PSM), a joint venture of KMW and Rheinmetall. A framework agreement was signed enabling the subsequent call-off of further Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicles.

In addition to the fifty armoured fighting vehicles, the order encompasses spare part packages and special tool sets as well as eight MELLS flight-phase simulators. Furthermore, an option exists for additional driver training vehicles and the integration of a turret-independent secondary weapon system, or TSWA. Delivery is set to start in December 2025 and be complete by the beginning of 2027. The most advanced and effective system of its kind, the Puma infantry fighting vehicle is the principal weapons system of the German Army’s mechanized infantry. It can carry a crew ofnine: the vehicle commander, gunner and driver, plus a section of six infantry soldiers. In addition to its modular, highly effective force protection technology, the Puma possesses a unique level of battlefield lethality, coupled with an outstanding network-enabled operations capability.

Two PUMA infantry fighting vehicles at full speed on the training grounds in Munster.
Two PUMA infantry fighting vehicles at full speed on the training grounds in Munster. (Photo by KMW)

Given the advanced age of the current Marder IFVs, and because the world market does not offer any vehicle comparable with the specifications to which the Puma is built, the acquisition of the new vehicles was unanimously voted for by the budget committee of the Bundestag. 350 Pumas were delivered to replace the more than 40-year-old Marders. Only recently, in February 2023, BAAINBw awarded an order for the comprehensive modernization of 143 Puma IFVs in the Bundeswehr inventory that had not yet been upgraded to the latest S1 standard. The upgrade, to be complete in 2029, includes among other things the integration of high-resolution day- and night-capable camera systems, the MELLS multirole lightweight guided missile system as well as the integration of digital radio equipment. When they leave the factory, the fifty newly ordered vehicles will also conform to the latest S1 standard.

The Puma is a German infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) (Schützenpanzer or short SPz) designed to replace the aging Marder IFVs currently in service with the German Army. 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 Puma is one of the world’s best-protected IFVs, while still having a high power-to-weight ratio. 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. 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, which carries two missiles. The Spike LR missile has an effective range up to 4,000 m and can be launched in either the “Fire and Forget” or “Fire and Observe” mode.

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