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24 June 2015

PUMA IFV Formally Handed over to Bundeswehr

Today, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall formally handed over the PUMA
infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) to the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr). Being one of the most advanced systems of its kind anywhere, and one of the world’s most ambitious projects in the field of  army technology the Bundeswehr’s fielding of the PUMAIFV gives its mechanised infantry a new main weapons system that will gradually supersede the MARDER, first introduced over 40 years ago.

The PUMA infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) was handed over to the Bundeswehr today. (Photos via Rheinmetall)

Delivery of all 350 IFVs will take place by 2020. Awarded to PSM GmbH (a joint enture of Rheinmetall and KMW, each holding a 50% stakein 2004, the contract today is worth around €4.3 billion, including separately ordered additional equipment.

Performance characteristics of the PUMA IFV:

  • Lethality. Thanks to its newly developed MK30-2/ABM 30mm automatic cannon and programmable ammunition, it can effectively engage a wide spectrum of targets, even behind cover.
  • Mobility. The vehicle’s hydro-pneumatic chassis and powerful engine make the PUMA highly manoeuvrable even in the toughest terrain as well as enabling a top speed of 70 km/h. This means it can operate on the battlefield in tandem with the LEOPARD 2 tank.
  • Survivability. A modular protection system consisting of active and passive components protects the crew from mines, improvised explosive devices, bomblets, shrapnel and ballistic threats such as shaped charges and kinetic energy rounds.
  • C4I. Digitised command and control (C2) technology make it easier for the crew to operate the vehicle and its subsystems, simplifying command procedures and bringing the PUMA directly into the networked operations loop.
  • Reconnaissance. Advanced optics, optronics and sensors give the crew maximum situational awareness around the clock, enabling early detection and high precision engagement of emerging threats.

The PUMA IFV has entered active service with the Bundeswehr earlier in order to train the trainers, at a German Army training centre in Munster until the end of this year. A special organisation has been set up in Munster for the PUMA, which provides mechanised infantry companies with three months of initial training in the new vehicle.Once completing a three-month course, units return to their home base with their newly issued PUMAs. In the meantime, the Bundeswehr and PSM have concluded the necessary contracts for maintenance and technical/logistical support.

PUMA "cockpit."

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