After extensive testing by the Bundeswehr’s Technical services, many months of testing in extreme heat and cold abroad, and several field trials by the military, another milestone has now been achieved in the project PUMA Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) with the authorization for use granted by the BAAINBw defence procurement agency.
Many conditions had to be met for this, some of which key are listed below. On the basis of tests and test results, technical optimizations were repeatedly developed, qualified and continuously introduced into series production vehicles. Thereafter, the test report was finalized by the Central Military Motor Vehicles office (Zentrale Militärkraftfahrtstelle), which issued the necessary approval and made it street-legal. Finally, the Army Inspector (Inspekteur Heer) formally declared April 13 that the Schützenpanzer (SPz) PUMA was ready to enter service. This was on the same day that the BAAINBw granted the clearance for service.
Thus, operations are scheduled to begin next week with the training of instructors on the first seven armored vehicles. Others will follow in the coming months. This training period will continue until the end of the year at the training center in Munster. There, an introduction organisation PUMA eine Einführungsorganisation (EFO) was set up specifically for the PUMA, and will perform the initial training of mechanized infantry companies on IFV PUMA for three months, also at the Munster training center. The EFO will also accept delivery of the vehicles by the manufacturer, adds Bundeswehr-furnished equipment and hands them over to the trainee soldiers there. Thus, the Panzer Grenadiers will take «their» own SPz PUMA after the three-month training cycle, in order to further familiarize themselves with «their» new vehicles on their bases.
The contracts necessary for the repair and technical and logistical support have been concluded between the army and the PSM GmbH, so the support of the PUMA by industry is thus ensured.
PUMA Infantry Fighting Vehicle
The PUMA combines the contrary requirements for high strategic and tactical mobility on the one hand and maximum protection and maximum fire power on the other in an optimum manner in one single high-performance weapon system, capable to react adequate and flexible at any time, at any location and at any level of intensity.
Therefore, the PUMA offers with its innovative and forward-looking solutions:
- optimum protection against any type of threat for maximum survivability of the crew;
- optimum armament for escalation and de-escalation in all missions;
- rapid, strategic, global deployability and high tactical mobility;
- network centric warfare capability;
- sustainability under extreme climatic conditions and inadequate infrastructural conditions.
Some important technical solutions improve the PUMA’s combat effectiveness significantly:
- integration of the German Battlefield-Management-System «FüInfoSys»;
- integration of the German Future Soldier System «IdZ»;
- the MUltifunctional Self-protection System (MUSS), a softkill system against guided missiles, will be integrated. Integration of a launcher for two missiles for the Anti Armour/Multi-Purpose Missile System SPIKE LR (EuroSpike).
Available interfaces for:
- identification friend-foe;
- alternative active protection systems;
- remote controlled grenade launcher.
The PUMA achieves this firepower through the interaction of different innovative elements:
- The main armament is the fully stabilized, automatic 30-mm Mk-30-2 ABM fitted to the remote-controlled turret. This weapon designed for target engagement on great distances also on the move.
- 200 rounds of two types of ammunition are available ready to use. Further 200 rounds are stowed in the chassis.
- A variety of state of the art optical and optronic vision devices enables the whole crew 360° all-around surveillance, recognition and identification of targets on long distances.
- The hunter-killer functionality, as available in the Leopard 2 main battle tank, allows the rapid engagement of several targets within a very short time
- PUMA receives an additional weapon system with the integration of the Anti Armour/Multi-Purpose Missile System SPIKE, provided by EuroSpike. The integration of SPIKE boosts the PUMA’s lethality significantly.
|Weight, level A (Air-transportable by A400M)||31.45 t/69,335 lbs|
|Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)||43 t/94,799 lbs|
|Length||7.6 m/24.9 feet|
|Width||3.9 m/12.8 feet|
|Height||3.6 m/11.8 feet|
|Ground clearance||0.45 m/17.72 inch|
|Step climb||0.8 m/2.62 feet|
|Gap crossing||2.5 m/8.2 feet|
|Fording depth||1.2 m/3.94 feet (without preparation)|
|Engine power||800 kW/1,073 hp|
|Specific power-to-weight ratio||up to 25 kW/t/33.5 hp/t|
|Maximum speed (road), forward||43 mph/70 km/h|
|Maximum speed (road), reverse||18 mph/30 km/h|
|Chassis||decoupled running gear|
|Main armament||Mk-30-2/ABM, cal. 30-mm|
|Main armament rounds||200 (capacity ready bin) + 200 (stowed rounds)|
|Secondary armament||MG 4, cal. 5.56-mm|
|Secondary armament rounds||1000 (capacity ready bin) + 1000 (stowed rounds)|
|Guided missile system||SPIKE LR (EuroSpike)|