Germany moves to upgrade Puma armoured vehicles as additional procurement remains on hold
Germany’s BAAINBw defence procurement agency has awarded Projekt System & Management (PSM), a JV of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall, a contract to retrofit a further 143 Puma infantry fighting vehicles.
This represents the exercise of two options contained in a 2021 contract for bringing original-configuration Pumas to the S1 design standard.
The order is worth around €770 million and means that all Pumas in Germany's inventory be in S1 configuration by 2029. The refit includes integration of high-resolution day and night camera systems, the MELLS lightweight guided missile system and digital radio equipment.
Shephard Defence Insight Land Analyst Sam Hart commented: 'The German government’s decision comes at a critical moment for PSM. As Berlin begins to distribute its €100 billion ($109.6 billion) ‘special fund’ for defence procurement, the allocation of $844.4 million will undoubtedly serve as a stop-gap for the publicly flailing Puma IFV programme.
'Now more in the public eye than ever, the future of Germany’s $6 million IFV appears temporarily supported. As the final 143 Pumas are upgraded to the new S1 status, PSM looks to have been afforded a second chance to prove their ongoing efficacy, potentially paving the way for the resumption of $1.7 billion worth of currently halted Puma procurement efforts.'
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