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In the second batch of the Puma armored personnel carrier, protection against anti-tank missiles is significantly improved. The protection system MUST 2.0 will then be available. The basic concept of MUSS is designed so that the system can also be adapted for other combat vehicles such as the Leopard 2 battle tank, the GTK Boxer or the Fennek.

Guided anti-tank missiles pose a significant threat to combat vehicles. With active protection, missiles are to be rendered ineffective before they can develop their effect. Softkill systems act on the control of approaching guided missiles and prevent them from finding their target.

The armored personnel carrier Puma, which has been in the army since 2015, is equipped with the softkill-based active protection system MUSS (Multifunctional Self-Protection System). MUSS was developed in the 1990s by Hensoldt together with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and the Rheinmetall subsidiary Buck. The Hensoldt shares are the sensor and electronic countermeasures, Buck contributes the pyrotechnics and KMW took over the integration into the combat vehicle.

At MUSS, four sensors detect threats on the battlefield around the vehicle (360 degrees). This is Hensoldt's MILDS (Missile Launch Detection System) missile warning system, which is also used over 8,000 times in helicopters and airplanes. As soon as the sensor detects a missile or a laser signal to control it, the threat to the crew is displayed and - automatically or semi-automatically - an adapted countermeasure is triggered. A smoke screen is generated via a launcher, which blinds the laser and interrupts further control. The smoke screen is set up in 4.5 seconds. This results in a minimum distance for the effectiveness of the protection of around 500 m. The control of wired rockets is aborted by corrupting the infrared signature of the rocket motor.

With MUST 2.0, Hensoldt has implemented a number of improvements for the protection system. A new laser warner covers all modern laser threats. The improved and expanded sensor technology is evaluated with significantly updated software. The countermeasures have also been modernized. Interfaces enable the integration of a hardkill effector, among other things. At the same time, the system has become smaller and lighter than its predecessor.

Gerhard Heiming