Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

“Puma”, the costliest infantry combating car, fully failed

During recent exercises, the Bundeswehr discovered major problems with the modernized version of the Puma combat vehicle, Spiegel writes, citing a letter from the commander of the 10th Panzer Division, Major General Rupret von Butler, to the leadership of the army and the German Ministry of Defense.

The general writes about a “total failure”, and many other German media report the Spiegel report.

During the exercise with 18 “Puma” type tanks, the combat readiness of the unit dropped to zero within a few days – all the tanks were running.

First of all, the electronics of that high-tech tank are vulnerable. In one of them there was even a serious cable fire in the control cabin located in the turret, but it is unmanned, controlled remotely from the gut.

The nature of the defects was already known to the military, the email states, but “never before have there been so many failures with this frequency.” At the same time, the “Puma” was used in these exercises only at shooting ranges in the northern German lowlands and not “excessively” there.

The general writes that, according to the assessment of the affected company, which he considers very credible, the full combat readiness of that tank unit could only be returned in three to four months. At the same time, he expressed his satisfaction with the soldiers’ ability on Twitter.

Confusion in the Ministry of Defense

Friday’s letter caused a stir in the Ministry of Defense, because the new malfunctions refer to vehicles in a special configuration with which the German Panzergrenadierbrigade 37 will participate in the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTV) from the New Year.

Bundeswehr units with VJTV status are politically and militarily important for Germany’s obligations to NATO. It will be used, among other things, on NATO’s eastern wing.

If the “Puma” is not available by the end of April 2023 in those NATO rapid reaction forces, it will be replaced “for the time being” by the proven infantry fighting vehicle “Marder” (Kuna).

Bundeswehr Inspector General Eberhard Korn wrote on Twitter that the Bundeswehr will work to quickly restore the combat readiness of the Puma. A damage assessment will be carried out immediately, together with experts from the arms industry.

“We will fulfill our obligations towards NATO from January 1, 2023,” he added. “As soon as I received the message about the failures of ‘Puma’ after the end of the exercise, I talked to the industry. They will support us with their teams,” Korn told the DPA agency.

“Puma” was problematic from the beginning

The new defects concern the modernized “Cougars” in which, according to the Bundeswehr, “optics, weapon efficiency and soldier protection” have been improved. This version was only declared combat-ready last year.

“Puma” is significantly more modern than its predecessor “Marder” which comes from the time of the Cold War and should have replaced it a long time ago. However, ever since the delivery of the first “Cougars” to the German army, this tank was often written about in the media due to technical problems.

In July 2009, the Ministry of Defense ordered a total of 405 Pumas at a total cost of 3.1 billion euros. In the meantime, the order was reduced to 350, but the price per piece increased – from about 7.6 million to about 17 million euros.

“Puma” has a stabilized 30 mm cannon as its main armament. Unlike “Marder”, he can shoot accurately while driving. Another improvement is better communication capabilities. The crew of the “Puma” was “networked” with the Panzergrenadiers who brought it to the battlefield.

Just a few days ago, the Ministry of Defense ordered 600,000 pieces of ammunition for “Puma”, worth 576 million euros.

The combat vehicle is developed and produced by the German companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH (RLS)..

Comments are closed.