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Germany Boosts Military Capabilities with Upgraded Puma IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicles

Projekt System & Management GmbH (PSM), a joint venture between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall, has been awarded a contract by the German Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology, and Service Support (BAAINBw) to upgrade 143 Puma infantry fighting vehicles to the more advanced S1 design status. The German government has exercised two contract options to upgrade the original Puma infantry fighting vehicles.

The agreement was signed in June 2021, and the order is worth approximately 770 million euros. The upgrade is expected to be completed by 2029, bringing all 143 Puma systems up to date with the latest firepower and command and control capabilities, and ensuring that all Pumas in the Bundeswehr inventory conform to the S1 uniform design status.

The upgrade package includes several advanced systems such as the MELLS multi-role lightweight guided missile system, digital radio gear, and high-resolution video systems with day and night capabilities. The Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) was developed to replace the Marder 1A3, which was becoming obsolete. The Puma IFV is 7.35 meters long, 3.80 meters wide, and 3.37 meters tall, with a combat weight of 43 tonnes. It can carry a crew of three plus six fully equipped soldiers and has a top speed of 70 kph on the highway and 50 kph off-road, thanks to its MTU 10-cylinder 800 hp diesel engine. The Puma has a range of 600 km without refueling and is protected from mines, shrapnel, and small ωeapons fire with its armor.

The Puma also features a soft-кเll system that can detect and destroy enemy missiles before they cause damage. It can fire both armor-piercing and high-explosive rounds from its 30mm Rheinmetall MK30-2/ABM autocannon with its dual-feed system, hitting targets up to four thousand meters away at a rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute. Additionally, it has Spike-LR anti-tank missiles and a coaxial 5.56mm machine ɢυи. The Puma IFV is equipped with advanced electronics and communications technology, such as a battlefield management system that enables communication with other vehicles. It also features a digital fire control system that integrates the ωeapons and sensors for precise targeting.

The Puma has a fully independent suspension system for enhanced mobility and can swim at a speed of up to 10 km/h, making it amphibious.

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