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Die Schützenpanzer (SPz) Puma werden zum Konfigurationsstand S1 nachgerüstet. Nachdem die Haushaltsmittel parlamentarisch freigegeben worden sind, hat das Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr am 28. Juni 2021 mit der PSM GmbH, dem 50:50 Joint Venture von Rheinmetall und Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, einen Vertrag über die Umrüstung des ersten Loses mit 154 Schützenpanzer im Wert von einer Milliarde Euro abgeschlossen. Für Umrüstung eines zweiten Loses mit 143 Puma im Wert von 820 Millionen Euro ist eine Option vereinbart. Die Umrüstung des ersten Loses soll bis 2026, die des zweiten Loses bis 2029 abgeschlossen werden. Für die NATO Speerspitze VJTF 2023 werden 40 Schützenpanzer Puma bereits umgerüstet. Da die 13 Fahrschulfahrzeuge nicht umgerüstet werden, ist somit der einheitliche Konstruktionsstand S1 für alle Puma vereinbart.

The new Puma version S1 is characterized by the integration of distance-capable effectors such as the multi-role light guided missile system (MELLS), additional sensors such as the new driver vision system and an improved guidance architecture. The new all-round and driver vision system heralds the end of the era of the corner mirror. For the first time, the entire crew can see “through the armor” both day and night. The fusion mode combines the daytime view with the high-performance thermal image and enables the early detection of camouflaged targets, day and night. The Puma is the first western combat vehicle that can be used in series with such a system.

It was not until March 2021 that the Army Inspector, Lieutenant General Alfons Mais, was able to determine the combat capability of the Panzergrenadier system with the Puma infantry fighting vehicle and the Infantryman of the Future Soldier System - Extended System (IdZ - ES). In the Panzergrenadier system, a digitized vehicle platform is being brought together for the first time in Germany with a soldier system that has digital radio technology.

In a decision on the Puma, the Budget Committee of the Bundestag asked the Ministry of Defense to use the Puma's VJTF to take a critical look at the situation. With knowledge from the use under realistic everyday conditions over a longer period of time, a valid time and financial planning for a fully operational Puma fleet should be worked out. Together with cost-benefit considerations, this should form the basis for a decision on a second Puma procurement lot.

Nachrüstung zum Puma S1 in zwei Losen

The army is currently equipped with 350 Puma infantry fighting vehicles and almost 400 Marder infantry fighting vehicles. The lifespan of the 50-year-old marten is limited despite retrofitting. The marten is no longer suitable for use according to the capability profile of the Bundeswehr from 2018 and as equipment for tank grenadiers according to the Army plan in the 2032 division. A decision for a second batch of Puma must therefore be made as soon as possible, even if the budget is tight.

Gerhard Heiming