KASSEL, Germany: Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) handed over on December 6th in time the first two PUMA infantry fighting vehicles to the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement (BWB) in Kassel for verification tests.
This marks the start for the contractual delivery of 405 ordered vehicles to the German Armed Forces. The contract with a volume of roughly EUR 3.1 bn was signed in July 2009. The delivery of the PUMA is a significant milestone for the most important procurement program of the German Army.
“This is a crucial day on the way of introducing the PUMA to the German Armed Forces. We have undergone a challenging period of research and development, pushing the limits of this technology,” stated Klaus Eberhardt, CEO of Rheinmetall, and Frank Haun, CEO of KMW.
Technology of extremes: lessons learned from current operations
The development of the new infantry fighting vehicle is marked by technological extremes. It will not only be the new transport platform for the German Army but also a cutting-edge technology system. With its unique balance of tactical and strategic mobility, survivability and fighting power, the PUMA gives the German Armed Forces a state-of-the-art infantry fighting vehicle systematically tailored to the current and future operational requirements of the German military both at home and abroad.
The development achievement was guided by the demand to induce latest mission experience from current operations and to consequently deliver effective mission performance. To that extent this has not been realized in any other infantry fighting vehicle.
The PUMA is scheduled to undergo an intense round of testing and verification. This includes extreme summer and winter trials abroad. The complex preparations are deemed to ensure the smooth introduction of the system to the German Army.
PUMA sets the new standard – maximum protection for the crew
No comparable vehicle provides its crew with such a high level of protection from typical conflict zone threats such as landmines, rocket propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices. Well-protected yet light enough to airlift, the PUMA’s modularity and expandability make it the perfect tool for international conflict management. The PUMA, whose main armament and ammunition had to be modified to match the altered threat spectrum, represents the ultimate in fighting power and survivability.
Today, more than thirty years after Germany first fielded the MARDER, the PUMA is poised to significantly expand the Bundeswehr’s capabilities spectrum, providing it with an entirely new category of tactical vehicle. In any international comparison, the PUMA clearly represents the cutting edge in contemporary armoured vehicle technology.