Germany to upgrade infantry fighting vehicles under $1.2 billion deal

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The German army has signed a contract worth more than one billion euros ($1.2 billion) to modernize 154 Puma infantry fighting vehicles, Rheinmetall announcement in a report.

The PSM GmbH consortium, jointly owned by Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, will begin the upgrade this month and is expected to complete it in 2029.

Additional upgrade option

The contract also includes an option to upgrade an additional 143 Puma vehicles at a cost of 820 million euros ($973 million).

The upgrade will modernize vehicles to the S1 design.

Meanwhile, 40 of the German Pumas out of a total of 350 have already been upgraded to the S1 standard, the statement reveals.

The S1 standard

The upgrade will see vehicles retrofitted with “stand-up capable effectors like the MELLS Multirole Light Guided Missile System”.

In addition, the vehicle will be equipped with additional sensors “such as the new driver vision system and an improved command and control architecture”.

The driver’s vision system allows the crew to “see through the armor, day and night,” which is not possible with the current periscope system, Rheinmetall explained.

Early detection of cloaked targets

The improved vehicle’s fusion mode capability will allow it to combine “daytime vision with a high-quality thermal image”, aiding in the early detection of cloaked targets, day or night. It is the first Western vehicle equipped with such a capability as a standard feature, the statement added.

Meanwhile, the S1 version is part of the German Army’s Panzergrenadier system, or mechanized infantry plan, which will see a digitized platform such as the S1 vehicle linked to a soldier system with digital radio technology. .

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