Rheinmetall has announced that the Budget committee of the German Bundestag has
given the green light for the future Puma infantry fighting vehicle. Deemed as
the most important project of the German land systems industry in this decade.
The Bundestag, German Congress/Parliament, has approved the award of a €350
million ($430+ million) procurement contract for the low rate initial production
(LRIP) phase. Projekt System und Management (PSM) GmbH of Kassel, a 50/50 joint
venture between Rheinmetall Landsysteme of Kiel and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) of
Munich, will be responsible for development, production and associated services
throughout the life of the program.
The German Army, Bundeswehr, wants to procure 410 vehicles to replace aging
Marder infantry fighting vehicles. In total, the Puma program is valued
approximately at €3.05 billion ($3.8+ billion). The agreement achieved between
PSM and the German government contains an option for launching full rate
production valid until 2007. The first prototype is planned to roll-out in the
In addition, the German Bundestag has approved outfitting some 1,500 vehicles of
the German Army with a state-of-the-art command and information management
system suitable for new role of German forces in international crisis
management. This upgrade worth $380 million ($476+ million) will be conducted
jointly by Rheinmetall and KMW. Moreover, Rheinmetall will supply with 75 Bv206S
armored command and transport vehicles worth $58 million to the German Army's
mountain elite troops.
The German land systems industry feels that Puma express their technological
superiority through an infantry fighting vehicle offering crew protection and
platform survivability unrivalled anywhere in the world. The development of Puma
started in 2002, the first prototype is expected in 2005 and an initial
operational capability is anticipated in 2007. Puma can be airlifted in the new
A400M tactical transport aircraft and features modular design that ultimately
could provide outstanding battlefield effectiveness.
Crew protection against rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and mines will remain
without equals for long time, according to Rheinmetall. The new 800 KW engine,
brand-new turret and the use of programmable ammunition among other advanced
characteristics will set Puma as a new category of combat vehicles.
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