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The German Army’s Puma armored infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV) will be upgraded in order to enhance the situational awareness of the combatants. The operation will be conducted within the framework of the Projekt System & Management GmbH (PSM), a joint venture of Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.
The vehicle is of modular construction which allows it to be fully air-transportable on an A400M aircraft. The vehicle is armed with a remotely controlled weapon station, developed by Kraus-Maffei Wegmann, which is fitted with a dual feed Mauser 30mm MK 30-2 cannon. The MK 30-2 has a rate of fire of 700 rounds a minute and a range of up to 3km, according to army-technology.com.
The first stage of the upgrading process, Puma S1, covers command-and-control, situational awareness, and enhanced anti-tank capability; S2 adds a killer-killer capability.
For S1, the Puma’s open electronic architecture will allow a PRC117 satellite-embedded radio system to be installed, as well as the latest software designed radios that, according to PSM, will “enable more effective communication during joint task force operations”.
Situational awareness is to be improved by replacing current black-and-white cameras with thermal and color cameras to provide an all-weather capability with information displayed at the commander’s, gunner’s, and driver’s stations, as well as on screens for the dismounts.
An additional improvement for the 360° situational awareness system is to incorporate fuzed-image technology so that “every member of the crew is actively involved in reconnaissance tasks when mounted”, the company said.
According to janes.com, the driver also has a new day/night front and rear thermal camera system.
The firepower upgrade is designed to enable Puma to engage main battle tanks (MBTs) and other targets at long range. Accordingly, a twin launcher for the EuroSpike Long Range anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) LR1 will be integrated externally on the turret’s left side.
Targets can be engaged with EuroSpike LR1 by the commander or gunner using their standard control handles and the already installed monitor systems.