The German Army has announced plans to upgrade its fleet of Puma infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) with new capabilities and features. The Puma is a modern and versatile combat vehicle that can operate in various scenarios and environments. It is designed to provide mobility, protection, firepower and situational awareness to the troops.
The upgrade program will focus on four main areas: survivability, command and control, mobility and lethality. The survivability enhancements will include improved armour protection, active protection systems, smoke grenade launchers and fire suppression systems.
The command and control improvements will involve integrating the Puma with the German Army’s networked digital battlefield system, known as SVFuA (System zur Vernetzten Führungsunterstützung im Angriff). The mobility upgrades will consist of installing a new engine, transmission and suspension system, as well as a driver’s vision enhancer and a rear-view camera. The lethality enhancements will comprise adding a new 30 mm cannon, a coaxial machine gun, an anti-tank guided missile launcher and a remotely controlled weapon station.
The upgrade program is expected to start in 2024 and last until 2031. The German Army plans to procure a total of 350 Puma IFVs, of which 40 have already been delivered. The Puma is expected to replace the ageing Marder IFVs that have been in service since the 1970s. The Puma will also complement the Boxer armoured personnel carriers and the Leopard 2 main battle tanks in the German Army’s mechanized formations.
The Puma is a joint project between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall Defence, two leading German defence companies. The Puma has a crew of three (driver, gunner and commander) and can carry six fully equipped infantrymen in the rear compartment.
The Puma has a modular design that allows for different configurations and mission kits depending on the operational requirements. The Puma has a combat weight of 43 tons and a top speed of 70 km/h. The Puma is also air-transportable by the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft.
Puma infantry fighting vehicle
The Puma IFV is a modern armoured vehicle designed and manufactured in Germany. It is intended to replace the ageing Marder IFVs in service with the German Army. The Puma offers several advantages over its predecessor, such as improved mobility, protection, firepower, and situational awareness.
The Puma is based on a modular concept that allows it to adapt to different missions and threats. The vehicle has a crew of three: a driver, a gunner, and a commander. It can also carry up to six fully equipped infantrymen in the rear compartment. The Puma is equipped with a 30 mm automatic cannon, a 5.56 mm coaxial machine gun, and two launchers for Spike anti-tank guided missiles. The vehicle also has a remote-controlled weapon station that can mount a 7.62 mm machine gun or a 40 mm grenade launcher.
The Puma has a high level of protection against various threats, such as mines, improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades, and kinetic energy projectiles. The vehicle has advanced composite armour that can be augmented with additional modules for increased protection. The Puma also has a hard-kill active protection system that can intercept incoming projectiles with countermeasures. The vehicle also features a nuclear, biological, and chemical protection system, as well as smoke grenade launchers and infrared jamming devices.
The Puma has high mobility and agility on different terrains, thanks to its powerful engine and hydro-pneumatic suspension. The vehicle can reach a maximum speed of 70 km/h on the road and 50 km/h off-road. It can also cross water obstacles up to 1.5 m deep without preparation. The Puma has a range of 600 km on road and 450 km off-road. The vehicle can be transported by air, rail, or sea.
The Puma has a state-of-the-art situational awareness system that provides the crew with a 360-degree view of the surroundings. The vehicle has several cameras and sensors that feed information to a digital display in the crew compartment. The Puma also has an integrated battle management system that allows it to communicate and coordinate with other units and platforms. The vehicle also has a laser warning system, a fire detection and suppression system, and an acoustic sniper detection system.
The Puma is one of the most advanced infantry fighting vehicles in the world, and it represents a significant upgrade for the German Army. The Puma is expected to serve as the backbone of the German mechanized infantry for decades to come.