Germany suspends Puma procurement, Marder to continue serving with VJTF

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Germany suspended procurement of the Puma IFV on 19 December after 18 of the vehicles broke down in an exercise preparing for their first assignment to the NATO VJTF in January 2023. (Rheinmetall)

Germany suspended procurement of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) on 19 December after 18 of the vehicles broke down in an exercise preparing for their first assignment to the NATO Response Force Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in January, when Germany takes over command of the force.

German Navy Captain David Helmhold, a spokesperson in the Ministry of Defence (MoD), told a government press conference in Berlin on 19 December that the cause of the breakdowns was being investigated and that 42 Pumas upgraded to the VJTF standard could be affected. He added that a total of 350 Pumas had so far been delivered. Capt Helmhold said that Marder IFVs would be assigned to the VJTF instead of Pumas.


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Australia orders Boxers to export to Germany

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Australia ordered over 100 sWaTrg Inf heavy weapon carrier infantry vehicles from Rheinmetall on 10 April. (Rheinmetall)

The Australian government signed a production agreement with Rheinmetall Defence Australia on 10 April for over 100 Boxer Schwerer Waffenträger Infanterie (sWaTrg Inf) heavy weapon carrier infantry vehicles to export to Germany. The company said in a press release announcing the contract later the same day that it would be Australia's largest foreign military export to Germany.

The vehicles are being procured under a government-to-government letter of intent signed by Canberra and Berlin in March.

Rheinmetall's Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland, will produce the vehicles, with deliveries to the German government planned for 2026–30, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) said in a press release on 10 April.

A Rheinmetall spokesperson told Janes that the first 20 vehicles would be produced in Rheinmetall's Kassel and Unterluess plants in Germany, with deliveries scheduled for 2025.

The sWaTrg Inf will replace the Bundeswehr's Wiesel 1 tracked tactical direct fire support weapon carrier and equip the German Army's new medium forces.


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Ukraine conflict: Lithuania sends mobile command vehicles to Ukraine

by Olivia Savage

Lithuania is providing its M577 command vehicle (pictured) to Ukraine under a military support deal. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Lithuania has supplied an undisclosed number of M577 armoured command vehicles to the Ukrainian army.

The vehicles, provided under a military support deal, arrived in Ukraine on 5 April, according to the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence (MND) on 6 April.

An MND spokesperson was unable to specify to Janes the number of units supplied for security reasons.

M577 is the command-and-control (C2) variant of the M113 tracked armoured personnel carrier (APC) that was first introduced to the US Army in the 1960s. Three generations exist – A1, A2, and A3 – as is the case with the M113. M577 can also be used as a fire-direction centre and mobile medical treatment facility as well as a communications vehicle.

In December 2016 Lithuania acquired 168 M577A2 vehicles from Germany at a cost of EUR1.6 million (USD1.7 million). The vehicles were suited for various purposes, including C2, artillery fire control, mortar fire control, training, and as an ambulance. This followed an earlier order for 26 M577s from Germany.


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Update: Iraq announces start of VN22 armoured vehicle production

by Jeremy Binnie

A still from a video released on 3 April 2024 shows a Norinco VN22 being demonstrated for the Iraqi minister of interior. (Defence Industry Commission of Iraq (DICI))

Iraq's state-owned defence industry has said it has begun producing Norinco VN22 6×6 armoured vehicles.

The Defence Industry Commission of Iraq (DICI) posted a video on its Facebook page on 1 April in which engineer Mustafa Ati Hassan, the president of the Military Industrialization Authority, stood next to a VN22 to announce the start of production of a 6×6 vehicle he did not name at the Al-Rabie factory, which is in southeast Baghdad. He provided no further details of the programme, with the video showing a production line for 4×4 light armoured vehicles, not the VN22.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/germany-suspends-puma-procurement-marder-to-continue-serving-with-vjtf

Germany suspended procurement of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) on 19 December after 18 of...

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