New generation of German PUMA infantry fighting vehicle fitted with MELLS guided missile 0406148
- Posted On
Defence & Security Industry News - Diehl Defence
|Wednesday, June 4, 2014 06:13 PM|
|New generation of German PUMA infantry fighting vehicle fitted with MELLS guided missile.|
MELLS is the German acronym for “multiple role lightweight guided missile system” constituting the Spike LR (“long range”) product. The Spike guided missile will supplement and expand the weapon system of the armored infantry fighting vehicle Puma as a high precision, stand-off-capable component enabling highly effective engagement against armored targets and infrastructure targets.
The Spike guided missile meets these requirements with capabilities and performance characteristics offered by no other guided missile in this range category today. In combat areas expected in the future, especially involving asymmetrical threats and military operations in inhabited and developed areas (urban warfare), this weapon system shows its unsurpassed strengths.
Along with its basic fire and forget capability, the guidance principle and modes of operation (fire and forget, fire and observe, manual steering) enable engagement of concealed targets (non-line-of-sight), initiating countermeasures and aborting missions. Simultaneously the gunner obtains information about the zone of combat otherwise not accessible from his position.
The point-of-aim correction capability along the entire flight path provides high accuracy as well as high kill probability in connection with the powerful warhead.
The Spike guided missile will supplement and expand the weapon system of the armored infantry fighting vehicle Puma as a high precision, stand-off-capable component enabling highly effective engagement against armored targets and infrastructure targets.
The Spike weapon system is designed for rapid and easy operability. A target is detected by means of a thermal imaging system or day vision visor. The missile is activated after a decision regarding target engagement has been made. A crosshair displayed in the viewfinder is assigned to the target by the gunner. As a result, the target is then locked-on in the seeker head and all target tracking thereafter is essentially carried out automatically. The target sight displays this condition to the gunner. Subsequently the missile can be launched following an arcing trajectory and approaching the target from above. During this process, the gunner sees the image of the assigned target from the seeker head camera (either IR or CCD). Flight path corrections are possible at any time after assignment and launch of the Spike up to shortly before impact. Up until that point in time, the mission can also be aborted or redirected to another target. As the distance between the missile and the target diminishes, the representation of the target becomes larger and contains more detailed information. Consequently the guidance concept ensures high hit probability. The ability to correct the point of impact up until shortly before impact makes it possible to guide the missile with absolute precision to the target´s weak points thereby achieving maximum effect.
Thus armored vehicles can also be struck at their weakest armored point from a distance of 4,000 metres. The same applies for field positions and bunkers. Spike LR can also be aimed at a target along an extended (flat) trajectory allowing the missile to engage bunker complexes or field position embrasures as well.
The armored infantry fighting verhicle Puma carries two guided missiles which are located in the missile launch platform on the left side of the turret. Both missiles can be activated rapidly by the commander or the gunner.
Target detection and selection are carried out via the sensors of the weapon optics. During the missile´s flight phase, the seeker head image is displayed on the existing visualization equipment/monitors of the vehicle. Information concerning the systems´s operational status is available on the commander´s or gunner´s system control panel. Consequently on the central control panel, MELLS appears as a weapon option on the weapon system switch functions. Integrated in the launch platform, the Spike weapon system electronics serve as the interface to the rest of the Puma weapon system. These components manage the missile system-specific signal processing functions.
This solution allows integration of the MELLS guided missile system while fully utilizing existing components of the Puma weapon system.