Land Panther: Germany’s Tracked Puma IFV
January 9/20: Rheinmetall Tapped For Equipment German company Rheinmetall announced in a press release that it has been awarded orders for additional equipment for the Bundeswehr’s Puma infantry fighting vehicle. Its Düsseldorf-based technology group is to supply spare parts and special tools worth a total of about $60 million. The Puma is one of the most protected IFV currently available. It has a welded armor hull with add-on modular armor. It has an option of three various protection levels to suit operational needs. Weight of the vehicle vary from 29.4 to 43 tons accordingly to a protection level. The base model has a front and flank protection against 30 mm rounds, while vehicle has an all-round protection against 14.5 mm machine gun fire.
Germany has always been known for producing excellent armored vehicles. A combination of features that arguably make it the world’s best tank, and fire sale prices stemming from Germany’s rapid disarmament, have made the Leopard 2 the standard main battle tank in Europe and beyond. The same level of innovation and execution was shown in the late 1960s, when Germany’s Marder became the west’s first Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). Designs like the American M2/M3 Bradley, Sweden’s CV90 family and new SEP, Singapore’s Bionix-II, and Korea’s new XK-21 have stepped far beyond that legacy, however, and even the Russian region has continued to update their BMP designs. Meanwhile, the nature of military operations has changed to emphasize modularity, out of country missions, advanced electronic communications, and strong protection against threats like land mines.
The Marders need to be replaced, and this became a priority even within Germany’s limited defense budget. In response, German armored vehicle leaders Rheinmetall & KMW formed a 50/50 joint venture to design and produce a solution that would address these issues, and return Germany to a leadership position in the tracked IFV field. Enter the new Puma IFV – which has just received a EUR 3 billion production order from Germany.
Puma IFV: Platform & Features
Puma IFV: Project and Industrial Organization
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