For the first time, the Rheinmetall AG Puma armored infantry fighting vehicle, being produced for the German army, was displayed last week at the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris.

During recent heat (UAE 2013), cold (Norway 2012) and live-fire trials conducted in cooperation with experts from the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment (BAAINBw) and the German army, the Puma performed very well under all climatic conditions, the company said in a statement.

Puma AIFV Photo: Rheinmetall AG

Photo: Rheinmetall AG

The Puma AIFV is the result of a partnership of Europe’s top two makers of land systems, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall. Founded specifically to manage the German Puma procurement project on the contractor side, PSM Projekt System & Management GmbH is a 50:50 joint venture owned by the two groups.

The vehicle offers tactical and strategic mobility with maximum crew protection and firepower, all characteristics the United States is looking at for the future security environment as it moves ahead with an Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program for the Army in the wake of the cancellation of the Ground Combat Vehicle program.

The Puma AIFV is on the cutting edge, the company said, with a modular protection concept, a remote-control, stabilized turret armed with an ABM-capable 30mm automatic cannon, decoupled running gear with hydro-pneumatic shock absorber elements, and last but not least its compact, newly developed MTU main engine (800 kW).

Another aspect of the vehicle is its network-enabled warfare capability, including battle management and future soldier systems and digital communications equipment. This also will make the new AIFV a key element in modern operational scenarios.

To keep soldiers skills sharp, each vehicle can be quickly transferred to training mode, enabling it to serve as an autonomous training platform. Moreover, special networking technology makes it possible to connect up to four vehicles in a training formation.

In addition, advanced simulators (e.g. driving simulators) and computer¬-supported training aids are available for training the entire crew.

The Puma has unrivaled growth potential–closely linked to systematic use of open interfaces–will enable the system to evolve to meet future challenges, keeping it combat-ready for decades to come, the company statement said.

With an interior offering about nine cubic meters of space, mission equipment packages can be added.