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Germany’s Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has awarded Projekt System & Management GmbH (PSM), a joint venture of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall, a contract to retrofit a further 143 Puma infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), the companies announced on 19 April 2023.

In doing so, the German government is exercising two options contained in the original contract for retrofitting original Puma IFVs to the new S1 design standard. That contract, worth EUR1.04 Bn, was signed in June 2021 and covered 154 Pumas.

The value of the latest contract is in the region of EUR 770 M. This upgrade contract will see the key capabilities of firepower and command and control of all 143 Puma IFVs brought up to the S1 standard by 2029.

The latest upgrade contract means that the entire Puma IFV fleet (apart from 13 driver training variants) will have been upgraded to the S1 standard by 2029. (Photo: Rheinmetall)

“Exercising these options assures that every Puma in the Bundeswehr inventory will conform to the uniform S1 design status,” Rheinmetall stated in a press release. “Among other things, the retrofit includes integration of high-resolution day- and night-capable camera systems, the MELLS multirole lightweight missile system (the German designation for the Israeli Rafael Spike LR), digital radio equipment, and the IdZ-ES expanded future soldier system.

The Bundeswehr has a total fleet of around 350 Puma IFVs, which began to enter service in June 2015. With 40 Pumas initially upgraded to S1 standard to serve with NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) under a July 2019 contract and then 154 IFVs covered under the June 2021 deal, this latest contract to upgrade 143 IFVs means that all Pumas apart from 13 driver training vehicles will have been upgraded to the S1 standard by 2029.

Peter Felstead