Army Recognition editorial team had the chance to visit the production line of the German-made Puma, one of the most modern tracked IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) in the world. We were able to discover exclusively the manufacturing secrets of this combat vehicle which include the latest innovations and technologies in terms of mobility, protection, and armament.
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The Puma is the latest generation of tracked armored IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle in service with the German army. (Picture source Army Recognition)
The Puma is one of the most modern tracked armored IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) developed in recent years. It was designed to replace the Marder IFV which is still in service with the German army.
A brief history, in December 2004, the German government approved the initial production of the first five Puma IFVs and the first prototype was delivered to the German army in December 2005. In March 2009, the Puma IF gas successfully completed field tests with the German army.
The first Puma IFV entered into service with the German army in April 2015 and the German government approved the procurement of 405 vehicles and a €3bn contract was awarded to the German defense industry in July 2009.
The Puma IFV incorporates several state-of-the-art technologies and innovations in terms of mobility, protection, and firepower. The vehicle is built to be fitted with modular armor offering three levels of protection that can be mounted on the vehicle according to the mission's requirements. The Puma is considered as one of the most protected IFVs in the world, it has a welded armor hull that can be fitted with additional armor.
Citing the German manufacturer, the front of the hull of the Puma is able to withstand the firing of 30mm ammunition while the other parts of the hull provide protection against the firing of small arms of 14.5mm calibers. The hull floor is designed to withstand the explosion blast of 10 kg TNT.
The Puma is fitted with a remotely operated weapon station which is controlled by the gunner seated in the hull. The turret is armed with a Mk 30-2 30mm automatic cannon and Spike-LR fire-and-forget anti-tank missile. A 7.62mm coaxial machine gun is mounted to the right of the main armament.
The Puma is powered by an MTU 892 Series Diesel engine developing 1,088 hp. The vehicle can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 600 km. The hydropneumatic suspension consists on each side of six dual rubber-tired road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front and idler at the front.