Qualification Trial Period for AIFV PUMA Extended Until September 2013
The German Bundeswehr and PSM GmbH formally agreed on the 11th of July 2012 a contract reduction from 405 to 350 AIFV PUMA - as a consequence of the realignment of the German Bundeswehr. Part of the agreement forms an extension of the qualification trial period until 30th of September 2013.
The cold climate trials in sub polar Norway have been successfully completed in April this year. The two Test AIFV PUMA have returned to Germany and are currently being prepared for the next round of extensive qualification trials.
The great challenges of the extreme cold climatic conditions on humans and material have jointly been very well managed by the Bundeswehr test team and PSM technical support team. Opportunities to further optimise the vehicle system have been identified and the required changes are now being implemented in the series production.
The next phase of qualification trials includes testing a range of functionalities which will mainly take place at various Technical Centres of the German Bundeswehr, tactical and logistical in service trials and hot climate trials which will take place overseas.
AIFV PUMA demonstrates its Accuracy and Mobility under Arctic Conditions
AIFV PUMA is currently undergoing demanding qualification tests at a sub polar proving ground in Norway. Temperatures have reached below – 30° Celsius during the trials. The apparent air temperature is even lower because of the constant icy winds. The extensive Norwegian proving ground also features several shooting ranges. The trial team has many opportunities to test the handling of the AIFV PUMA on snowy and icy surfaces during the long drives to this proving ground. For instance these conditions have allowed to test and experiment with a range of spikes and their location on the AIFV PUMA tracks to optimise the handling on icy surfaces.
Various shooting trials with the main weapon system MK30-2/ABM and the secondary weapon system MG4 have taken place during the past two months. Extensive measurement series and data collection for the road handling and shooting trials take place on a nearly daily basis. The main focus of these measurement series are the effect of low temperatures on the platform system especially after cold starts. The collected data relates primarily to the temperature curve inside the AIFV PUMA in relation to the outside temperature.
These trials at very cold temperatures place high demands on the weapon system and its users. The AIFV PUMA has to demonstrate its capability under these unusual climatic conditions until early April.
Two AIFV PUMA on their way to Norway
One of the requirements for the AIFV PUMA by the German Bundeswehr is its worldwide operability under nearly any climatic conditions.
The German Office of Defence Procurement and Industry have agreed that the AIFV PUMA’s climatic test for extremely cold conditions will be conducted in Norway. On the 9th of January 2012, two AIFV PUMA have been loaded on heavy transporters for their one week road trip to the Northern Arctic Circle where they will undergo qualification trials for three months.
The tests will take place under extremely low temperatures under icy and snowy conditions. These climatic trials will mainly include driving and firing tests as well as various measuring tests of the conditions within the cabin.
The German Office of Defence Procurement is leading these qualification trials supported by specialists from various Bundeswehr Technical Centres of Excellence. The German Army is also represented as user during these trials. The AIFV PUMA is supported locally by German PUMA industry.
SIAM – Revolutionary Training Concept Turns into Leading Edge Applied Technology
The System Integrated Training Equipment (SIAM) for the AIFV PUMA is based on a revolutionary approach. Every operational AIFV PUMA is technically capable to be transformed into a training vehicle for the core crew after being furnished with only a few additional components.
This concept allows a successful application of the training principle ‘Train as you fight – fight as you train’ either with an individual vehicle or at platoon level with four networked AIFV PUMA. In addition, simulators for other weapon systems can be connected to this network to allow training scenarios in a realistic battlefield environment.
The training is conducted, controlled and evaluated from the LAKS cabin (mobile instruction, evaluation and control cabin).
Coordinated by PSM, the training concept was developed and implemented in parallel to the development and production of the weapon system AIFV PUMA by a team of industry experts from the companies Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Landsysteme/Rheinmetall Defence Electronics. This industry team was in continuous consultation with the German Defence Procurement Agency, the Military Centre of Excellence for Information Technology and Electronics as well as relevant military units.
From the 11th until the 14th of April 2011, the System Integrated Training System underwent the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) conducted by the German Defence Procurement Agency, Military Centre of Excellence for Information Technology and Electronics as well as Government Quality Assurance. For this purpose, two pre series AIFV PUMA and a LAKS cabin prototype were equipped and networked with the required hardware and software functionalities. Once the technical evaluation of the Factory Acceptance Test was concluded, the German user had the opportunity to conduct its first training sessions with this SIAM configuration from the 14th to the 20th of April 2011.
The factory acceptance test for this SIAM configuration was a resounding success given its revolutionary and demanding approach. These initial results and experiences will be analysed in conjunction with still developing operational requirements. Additional requirements will be incorporated into the training system in the future. The next step is the mandatory qualification test with the SIAM series version. These tests will be conducted with the significantly larger Series LAKS Cabin by the same test and evaluation team.
These initial tests have proven that the 'train as you fight' principle has been taken to a new level with the AIFV PUMA's SIAM. This leading edge training tool including the network capability with other weapon systems guarantees the effective use of the most capable and modern Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle in the world.
The production of the AIFV PUMA is by now in full swing. The delivery of the first PUMA vehicles to the German Bundeswehr later this year is on time. The welding of the chassis and turrets has started months ago. The production and integration of the first modules is currently taking place at the production facilities of the various subcontractors. Already, first modules are being integrated at the production facilities of the two parents KMW and RLS. Also, the production of PUMA vehicles for delivery in 2011 is under way.
The first PUMA vehicles will undergo further qualification and operational trials (individual vehicle and as platoon) as per the contractual agreement under the responsibility of the German Defence Procurement Office. Therefore, the first PUMA vehicles will be delivered to the German Defence Procurement office and not to the German Armoured Corps. Furthermore, overseas climate trials (hot & cold) will be conducted for the entire platform system. The final delivery of the 405 PUMA vehicles for the German Bundeswehr will be in 2020.
The integrated acquisition strategy for the AIFV PUMA was jointly developed and agreed by the German Defence Procurement Office, PUMA Industry and the User, the German Armoured Corps. This includes in addition to the delivery of the PUMA vehicles the logistic support and training packages. The training courses for the user and maintenance personnel will be delivered before the Armoured Corps receives their first PUMA vehicle.
Contractual delivery of the first two vehicles
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall handed over on December 6th in time the first two PUMA infantry fighting vehicles to the Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement (BWB) in Kassel for verification tests. This marks the start for the contractual delivery of 405 ordered vehicles to the German Armed Forces. The contract with a volume of roughly € 3.1 bn was signed in July 2009. The delivery of the PUMA is a significant milestone for the most important procurement program of the German Army."This is a crucial day on the way of introducing the PUMA to the German Armed Forces. We have undergone a challenging period of research and development, pushing the limits of this technology" stated Frank Haun, CEO of KMW, and Klaus Eberhardt, CEO of Rheinmetall.
Technology of extremes: lessons learned from current operations
The development of the new infantry fighting vehicle is marked by technological extremes. It will not only be the new transport platform for the German Army but also a cutting-edge technology system. With its unique balance of tactical and strategic mobility, survivability and lethality, the PUMA gives the German Armed Forces a state-of-the-art infantry fighting vehicle systematically tailored to the current and future operational requirements of the German military both at home and abroad. The development achievement was guided by the demand to induce latest mission experience from current operations and to consequently deliver effective mission performance. To that extent this has not been realized in any other infantry fighting vehicle.
The PUMA is scheduled to undergo an intense round of testing and verification. This includes extreme summer and winter trials abroad. The complex preparations are deemed to ensure the smooth introduction of the system to the German Army.
PUMA sets the new standard – maximum protection for the crew, fire power, mobility and networked operations
No comparable vehicle provides its crew with such a high level of protection from typical conflict zone threats such as landmines, rocket propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices. Well-protected yet light enough to airlift, the PUMA's modularity and expandability make it the perfect tool for international conflict management. The PUMA, whose main armament and ammunition had to be modified to match the altered threat spectrum, represents the ultimate in lethality and survivability.
Today, more than thirty years after Germany first fielded the MARDER, the PUMA is poised to significantly expand the Bundeswehr's capabilities spectrum, providing it with an entirely new category of tactical vehicle. In any international comparison, the PUMA clearly represents the cutting edge in contemporary armoured vehicle technology.
German Defence Procurement Office Signs Contract for Series Production of 405 PUMA Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicles for Bundeswehr
On the 3rd of July 2009, the German Defence Procurement Office and PSM GmbH, Kassel, have signed the contract for the series production of 405 Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicles including the Integrated Logistic Support and Training Packages.
This signature follows the approval of the series production by the Federal Budget Committee of the German Parliament on the 17th of June 2009. The contract has a value of approximately EURO 3 billion. PSM, a joint venture company (equal 50% share) of Rheinmetall AG and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, has been contracted by the German Defence Procurement Office to supply and support the new generation Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle PUMA. The delivery of the first series PUMA is scheduled in 2010 and the final delivery in 2020.
Five pre-series vehicles have already been delivered in 2007. These five vehicles have since been used for a number of qualification and optimisation tests conducted by several Bundeswehr Technical Test Centres (Centres of Excellence) and practical trials at the Bundeswehr Armour School in Munster.
PUMA marks the beginning of a new generation of Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicles. PUMA’s leading edge technology and design combines highest protection and fire power with maximum mobility and modularity including growth potential for future technologies in one platform. PUMA provides the soldiers in today’s and tomorrow’s battlefields with maximum protection, lethal firepower and mobility.
First Successful Logistic Support Demonstration for PUMA Pre Series Vehicle
Industry presented its ‘Integrated Logistic Support Concept’ (ILS) to the German Bundeswehr in parallel to the ongoing Bundeswehr Trial and Qualification Tests of the PUMA in February and March 2009.
The first presentation was held at Rheinmetall Landsysteme in Kiel where the ILS for the chassis was demonstrated. The second presentation was held at Krauss-Maffei Wegmann in Kassel where the ILS for the weapon system and turret was demonstrated.
The purpose of ILS presentations was to inform members of the Bundeswehr Army Office, Bundeswehr Purchasing Agency and Army Maintenance School and Army School of Engineering about the status of the PUMAs Integrated Logistic Support Concept, demonstrate the currently available special tools and test equipment conduct a practical demonstration of key repair and maintenance tasks.
The practical demonstrations were carried out on a pre-series PUMA. The demonstration for the chassis included the following tasks:
The demonstration for the turret included the following tasks:
The responses of the PUMA Logistic Workshop participants were throughout positive. The practical demonstrations proved that:
Optimisation measures for the ILS will be incorporated into the design of the series vehicles despite the overall positive judgement of the user. Valuable information has been gained by the user for the training of the military logistic and mechanical personnel. These are important pre-conditions for successful final qualification tests.
Two pre-series PUMA vehicles have been tested and trialled at the German Army Training Centre Armour Corps over a seven week period from the 9th of February until the 27th of March 2009. The PUMA has fulfilled all expectations at the Trials as part of the ongoing Qualification Tests.
The purpose of these Trials as part of the ongoing Qualification Tests was to provide the German user with the opportunity to experience the PUMA first hand, gain experience with the worldwide most advanced AIFV weapon technology and finalise the configuration for the series production.
The trial began with a two week instruction course for the soldiers, which was conducted by industry experts. This course included a theoretical part explaining the technology and capabilities of PUMA and a practical part in which the soldiers operated routine tasks in the field.
During the remaining 5 weeks extensive practical performance tests were conducted. These tests were mainly carried out against performance criteria for the Main Battle Tank LEOPARD 2 and AIFV MARDER. These tests provided valuable information about critical criteria of the outstanding weapon system’s operational capabilities. The tests took place at day and night as well as in all weathers.
The trials focused on the effectiveness of the weapon system in an operational environment, the handling of the platform as an integrated entity as well as the integration with the Soldier of the Future System (IdZ-ES).
The Trials concluded with live firing tests at day (static and dynamic) and night (static only).
These Trials were assisted by members of the Bundeswehr Technical Centres for ‘Automotive and Armoured Vehicles’, ‘Weapons and Ammunition’ and ‘Information Technology and Electronics’. Representatives of industry ensured that the vehicles were prepared and functional for each test.
The Trials as part of the ongoing Qualification Tests have been very successful; especially the performance of the stabilised weapon system has convinced all participants. Optimisation measures have been identified for other areas such as the handling of the system.
The next steps in the PUMA program of the German Bundeswehr are to finalise the configuration for the series production, use the practical experiences for the definition of PUMA’s role of operation and define the training modules.
The next Trials and Qualification Tests will focus on PUMA’s performance under various climatic conditions and under operational conditions. The first PUMA series vehicles will be provided for these tests.
Serving soldiers (generals, officers and sergeant of all classes) and former members of the Bundeswehr Armour Corps and also representatives of German Defence Industry have had their first hands-on encounter with two pre series PUMA vehicles at a Symposium at the German Bundeswehr Armour School on the 5th and 6th of March 2009.
The participants of the Symposium had the unique opportunity to personally inspect the PUMA and inform themselves about its capabilities. Members of the Bundeswehr Armour School Training Centre were on hand to explain the leading edge AIFV technology to the knowledgeable audience. Industry supported the Bundeswehr PUMA Team in answering technically detailed questions.
It was especially welcomed by the participants of the Symposium that the presentation of the PUMA pre series vehicles was combined with the presentation of the new Soldier of the Future Technology. These two leading edge technologies will form the cornerstone of future German Army capabilities.
On the 19th of December 2008, PSM and the German Ministry of Defence have signed another contract to further enhance the capabilities of the Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV) PUMA.
PUMA receives an additional weapon system with the integration of the Anti Armour/Multi-Purpose Missile System SPIKE, provided by EUROSPIKE. The integration of SPIKE boosts the PUMA’s lethality significantly.
The launcher for the two missiles with multipurpose high lethality war heads will be mounted on the turret of the PUMA.
The SPIKE missile system is fully integrated in the control and command system of the PUMA. The image provided by SPIKE’s electro-optical guidance system is trans-mitted via a fibre-optic cable data link to the command and information system oper-ated by the PUMA crew. This seamless integration allows the PUMA crew to operate, guide and control the SPIKE System by using the control and command system of the PUMA.
The integration of SPIKE enhances the fighting capability of the PUMA significantly and allows the PUMA to fight enemy targets as well as helicopters and threats behind enemy lines even more effectively.
SPIKE can either be operated autonomously or manually. The latter function allows the PUMA crew to change, for example, the target of the missiles when the situation demands it.
This latest contract to further strengthen the lethality of the PUMA is another important milestone to provide the German Bundeswehr with the most modern and flexible, most lethal and unrivalled protected Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
Significant Progress at the Integrated Demonstration and Qualification Trials for the Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle PUMA
Industry and the Procurement Office of the German Bundeswehr have finalised a comprehensive and detailed program for the Integrated Demonstration and Qualification Trials for the PUMA. The trials will be conducted using all to-date manufactured PUMA pre-series vehicles and additional the demonstrator vehicles. The Integrated Demonstration and Qualification Trials will be conducted jointly by technical experts from Industry, the Technical Centres of the German Bundeswehr and, if required, the User. The following capabilities and requirements will be tested at the subsequent Bundeswehr Technical Centres:
Bundeswehr Technical Centre for Automotive and Armoured Vehicles (WTD 41) in Trier
Bundeswehr Technical Centre for InformationTechnology and Electronics (WTD 81) in Greding
Bundeswehr Technical Centre for Weapons and Ammunition (WTD 91) in Meppen
Bundeswehr Research Institute for Protective Technologies and NBC Protection (WIS) in Munster
Bundeswehr Technical Centre for Protective and Special Technologies (WTD 52) in Oberjettenberg
Bundeswehr Testing Centre in Unterluess
The purpose of this project phase is to ascertain and test the functionalities and performance requirements and define potential improvements. Potential new solutions will also become part of these integrated demonstration and qualification test.
The high degree of maturity of the complex platform PUMA to this date was only achievable through the very close cooperation of all involved parties.
Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle PUMA – Integration of Battlefield Management System
On the 24th of April 2008, PSM signed a contract with the German Defence Procurement Office for the integration of the German Army’s Battlefield Management System (supplied by EADS) into the PUMA. This integration of the Battlefield Management System ensures that the PUMA has network enabled capabilities. The open interface of the PUMA allows the integration of any future Battlefield Management System of any Defence Force.