Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Igel, MMWS, NSPz and Panther
Corporations: Krauss-Maffei Wegmann
, PSM GmbH
and Rheinmetall Defence
Parent System: Puma
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): December 2010
Total Production: 410
Total Cost: EUR€3.1 billion (USD$4.3 billion)
Description: The Puma, formerly known as NSPz, Igel (Hedgehog) or Panther, is an advanced armored vehicle designed to replace current Marder IFVs and keep up Leopard 2 Main Battle Tank in the German Army/Bundeswehr. The Puma armored vehicle is one of the major programs for the Bundeswehr modernization plan. Furthermore, the German land systems industry thinks Puma express their technological superiority. It will feature an entirely new hull design, a compact high-power density (HPD) powerpack designed by MTU and rated at 800 KW, and an unmanned, remotely controlled turret.
Puma has been designed around two levels of protection. Level A, which is for Airportable, provides enough armor protection to counter landmines and being airlifted in an A400M aircraft. Level C, stands for Combat, provides the highest level or armor protection using add-on armor elements which can be airlifted as well. Using a remotely operated turret results into an increased crew compartment protection thanks to eliminating the need of armoring the turret. Puma with Level A armor protection weights about 31.5-t and outfitted with Level C 40.7 tons.
Special landmine protection has been given to the Puma through a double-layered floor which absorbs blast energy thus protecting the crew. The floor of Puma includes a lower and inner floor. Crew compartment noise levels have been lowered by 90 percent compared with other modern armored personnel carriers which translates into higher crew comfort. Another enhancements provided to Puma are network-centric warfare and hunter-killer capabilities. Hunter-killer is achieved using two sensors one for the Puma's commander and the other for the gunner.
The MK 30-2 gun produced by Rheinmetall with AHEAD (Advanced Hit Efficiency And Destruction) ammunition has been chosen for the Puma turret. The secondary weapon would be an MG 4 machine gun also produced by Rheinmetall Land Systems. The system modular architecture will allow integration of different turrets and equipment to meet a wide range of mission profiles. The Puma fighting infantry vehicle will airlifted aboard the A400M tactical transport aircraft. Crew protection and system survivability against rocket propelled grenades and mines is another of the keys of the expanded scope of the program compared to current systems.
The program started in 2002. Projekt System und Management (PSM) GmbH of Kassel, a 50/50 joint venture between Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, is responsible for the entire program. Puma first prototype roll-out is planned for the end of 2005. An Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is anticipated by 2007 but deliveries to the Bundeswehr won't occur before 2009. The German parliament has authorized the procurement of a first batch consisting of 410 vehicles to be delivered from 2005 through 2012. As of December 2004, the cost of the program was set to €3.05 billion.
On December 2, 2004, the German parliament gave the green light to Puma first procurement contract worth €350 million. This contract will cover low rate initial production (LRIP) and will run through 2007 when funding is scheduled for expiration. The contract includes an option for full scale production to be exercised before the end of 2007. Puma full rate production is expected to begin in 2009.
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