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Enhanced Puma IFV: Germany’s Latest Defense Upgrade

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

The agreement was signed in June 2021, with the order volume totaling approximately 770 million euros. By 2029, all 143 Puma systems will have updated key firepower and command and control capabilities, ensuring conformity to the S1 uniform design status. The upgrade also includes the installation of 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 as a replacement for the aging Marder 1A3 IFV. It measures 7.35 meters in length, 3.80 meters in width, and 3.37 meters in height, with a combat weight of 43 tonnes and a crew capacity of three plus six fully equipped soldiers. Its MTU 10-cylinder 800 hp diesel engine allows it to reach a top speed of 70 kph on the highway and 50 kph off-road, with a range of up to 600 km without refueling. The Puma is equipped with armor made of ceramic and steel modules that protect both the hull and turret with composite armor, providing protection from mines, shrapnel from artillery, and small ωeapons fire. The vehicle is also equipped with a soft-кเll system that can detect and eliminate enemy missiles before they cause damage.

The Puma’s 30mm Rheinmetall MK30-2/ABM autocannon can fire both armor-piercing and high-explosive rounds due to its dual-feed system. The cannon has a rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute and can hit targets up to four thousand meters away. The Puma also has Spike-LR anti-tank missiles and a coaxial 5.56mm machine ɢυи. The vehicle is equipped with cutting-edge electronics and communications technology, such as a battlefield management system that enables communication with other vehicles, as well as a digital fire control system that integrates the ωeapons and sensors to engage targets with great precision.

In terms of mobility, the Puma features a fully independent suspension system and is also amphibious, with the ability to swim at a speed of up to 10 km/h.

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