Rheinmetall has won a major order from the German Bundeswehr to modernise Germany’s Puma IFV fleet.
The contract for modernising Germany’s fleet of Puma IFVs was signed on 28 June 2021 at the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in Koblenz.
The initial phase of the order encompasses 154 vehicles, generating sales for the consortium of €1.04 billion ($1.65 billion). Additional orders for components like electronic vision systems in the three-digit million euro range is expected for consortium-internal subcontractors.
The contract also contains an option designed to modernize a further 143 Puma infantry fighting vehicles, which for the PSM consortium would mean additional sales volume totalling €820 million, with over half the amount allotted to Rheinmetall.
In preparation for the NATO High Readiness Joint Task Force VJTF 2023, 40 Puma IFVs have already been upgraded to S1 status. From Germany’s 350 Pumas, the only ones not included in the modernisation program are the 13 driver training vehicles.
The new S1 version of the Puma is characterised by standoff-capable effectors like the MELLS multirole lightweight guided missile system; additional sensors such as the new driver’s vision system; and an improved command-and-control architecture.
The parabolic and driver vision system is designed to enable the entire IFV crew to be able to “see through” the armour, day and night. The fusion mode combines daylight vision with a high-quality thermal image, enabling early detection of camouflage targets around the clock.
The S1 version of the Puma version is the first western combat vehicle that includes a system of this type as a standard feature.
Teamed with the VJTF 2023 version of Rheinmetall’s Future Soldier – Expanded System infantry (IdZ-ES) system, the S1 version of the Puma forms the System Panzergrenadier. The System Panzergrenadier links a digitised platform – the advanced S1 version of the Puma IFV – to a soldier system featuring digital radio technology.