The German company Rheinmetall announced last week that it had won a major order for armored vehicles from the German army, representing sales of more than half a billion euros. The contract for the upgrade of the army’s first group of Puma infantry fighting vehicles is to be carried out by the joint venture PSM, co-owned by Rheinmetall and the German defense company KMW.
Under the German Defense Procurement Agency contract, the first phase will include the upgrade of 154 Puma vehicles, with work expected to begin in July and be completed in 2029. According to Rheinmetall, the initial phase of the agreement amounts to 1.04 billion euros, with Rheinmetall’s share worth 501 million euros. The company expects to receive additional work under the contract, such as in the electro-optical field, worth hundreds of millions of euros.
The contract also contains an option for the modernization of 143 additional Puma vehicles, which would mean additional sales for the PSM consortium of 820 million euros, more than half of which would be awarded to Rheinmetall, the company said.
The major upgrade aims to bring the majority of the German Army’s existing fleet of 350 Puma vehicles to an enhanced S1 design status before Germany assumes command of the Very High Level Joint Task Force. preparation (VJTF) of NATO. Forty Puma IFVs have already been upgraded to S1 status.
Among other things, the new S1 version of the Puma is characterized by effectors capable of isolating itself such as the MELLS multirole light guided missile system, the German version of Rafael’s Spike missile; additional sensors such as a new driver vision system; and an improved command and control architecture. In addition, the parabolic and conductive vision system announces the end of the era of periscopes. For the first time, the entire crew will be able to “see through” the armor, day or night. Fusion Mode combines daytime vision with a high-quality thermal image, enabling early detection of camouflage targets around the clock. The S1 version of the Puma is the first Western combat vehicle to include this type of system as standard, according to Rheinmetall.