Germany Announces Major Upgrade for Puma Fighting Vehicle


The German army has announced the signing of a new contract that will see the Bundeswehr's new Puma fighting vehicle fitted with a lightweight guided missile system.

Germany's Federal Agency for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) has placed an order with PSM GmbH of Kassel for the integration of the multiple-role lightweight guided missile system (MELLS), in a deal worth approximately €68m.

A spokesperson for the defence department said that the MELLS will add a necessary dimension to the Puma's capabilities profile.

"The system is part of an equipment package that encompasses an array of additional capabilities requested by the military but not yet contractually agreed," the spokesperson said.

The integration project involves mounting a launcher for two missiles in the vehicle turret. The Spike guided missile selected is equipped with an optronic sensor head that transmits imagery via a fibre optic cable to the Puma fighting compartment, where it is displayed on a computer monitor. It can be controlled via the user interface of the Puma's fire control unit.

This will enable Germany's new infantry fighting vehicle to engage heavily armoured enemy ground targets and helicopters, as well as countering threats behind cover.

In addition to the autonomous target tracking capability of the missile, the Puma crew can take control of the missile when it is in flight, for example, to switch to a higher priority target.

By Daniel Garrun.