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With 730 million euros the system Mechanized Infantry was the largest item in the 25-million-euro templates that have passed through the Parliament in late June of 2019. Now the Federal Office of equipment, information technology and use of the Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) has completed the necessary agreements with the industry. The Association Puma - an amalgamation of the Cougar Manufacturer PSM Projekt System Management and Rheinmetall Electronics was commissioned to carry out a substantial portion of the work. PSM is a joint venture, founded the Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann 2002 for the development and production of the Puma.

In the more than twenty years since the Cougar development, the security environment and operational needs have changed and developed technologies. For the intended use of armored infantry in the NATO spearhead Very High Joint Readiness Task Force 2023 (VJTF 2023) are the soldiers equipment Future Soldier Enhanced System (IdZ - ES) and the Puma infantry fighting vehicle, the core elements of the system mechanized infantry. This system is now being adapted to changing requirements and opportunities and supplemented accordingly. Providing the equipment is connected to the target date of 2023 for use under considerable time pressure.

Rheinmetall alone controls a 470 million euro share in to the job package.

For use in VJTF 2023 41 Puma armored personnel receive extensive combat performance upgrades and other measures to promote integration between infantry fighting vehicles and armored infantry dismounted. The total value of this order lays Rheinmetall amounts to 258.3 million euros. The systems will be delivered in late 2020 / early 2021 and then available for training and certification of the troops.

Puma get new day vision and thermal imaging cameras and color displays for improving leadership skills. The optimized day and night sighting the elucidation range is increased and, if the occupying an extended viewing area. Closely related is the "Means visual improvement chassis" for 67.2 million euros, whose development is already under way. New digital radios and the unified command and information system (Battle Management System, BMS) "TacNet" are based on the communication of the Puma crew with dismounted armored infantry, the neighboring SPz and the next higher management levels.

The firepower with 30-mm-Airburst Kananone and coaxially-MG is extended by scaffolding of the multi-reel-enabled Light guided missile system (MELLS) of Euro Spike. This gives the Pumas a significant capacity increase.

In addition, the entire logistical supply of VJTF Cougars agreed for a period of five years with the order. This includes spare parts and special tools and spare parts logistics.

Ausrüstungsübersichtde system IdZ-ES K-state VJTF 2023 (Graphic: Rheinmetall)

Overlooking VJTF Rheinmetall Electronics has the soldiers system IdZ - developed ES. In the K-state VJTF 2023, the electronic back has been replaced by a universal USB hub that facilitates adaptation to different application requirements. A new tablet computer for controlling the system and for visual communication and digital radios - both in connection with TacNet - improve opportunities in the networked battle. Ten train systems are to be provided for the VJTF. For this, 146.5 million euros are provided. Puma occupation and dismounted infantry section receive a matched date and comprehensive picture of the situation due to better crosslinking. Rheinmetall thus contributes to the ability of the guide Panzergrenadiere from individual contactors to the company commander. The complete new features of the soldier system IdZ-ES K-state VJTF 2023 can be viewed here.

For the other production cars Puma (which are not prepared for VJTF) will first five sets initial sample modules manufactured and integrated into five production vehicles. This work should be completed by the 2022nd the verification is then carried out to 2023 in the defense-related services as a prerequisite for the conversion of production vehicles.

The digitization of view means also goes hand in hand with the implementation of NGVA (NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture) in Puma. It is the foundation for the future on "Sensor to Shooter". The now begun networking of sensors and effectors of a single vehicle allows the very near future the networking of sensors and effectors of entire units and formations. In order for the Puma is one of the first digitized combat vehicles worldwide.

Gerhard Heiming