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Germany orders 50 more Puma IFVs

The Bundestag's budget committee approved the procurement of 50 more Puma IFVs on 10 May. (Bundeswehr/Marco Dorow)

The budget committee of the Bundestag, the German parliament, approved the procurement of 50 more Puma infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) on 10 May, with an option for an additional 179 IFVs, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on its website on 11 May. The procurement – which also includes spare parts, special tools, and eight Multirole-capable Light Missile System (Mehrrollenfähiges leichtes Lenkflugkörper-System: MELLS, the Bundeswehr's designation for Spike LR) simulators – will be financed by the German Army's share of the EUR100 million (USD109 million) Zeitenwende special fund approved after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The German MoD said the Bundeswehr would have over 400 Pumas by around 2030. The first batch of 342 Puma IFVs and eight driver training versions has been delivered to the Bundeswehr.

The Puma is replacing the over 50-year-old Marder IFV. German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said after the Bundestag budget committee's approval of the 50 additional Pumas that the IFV would be a quantum leap in protection and mobility over the Marder.

The announcement of the procurement of additional Pumas came three weeks after Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) announced on 19 April that their 50:50 joint venture Projekt System & Management (PSM) had been awarded a EUR770 million (nearly USD844 million) contract by Germany's Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr: BAAINBw) to upgrade 143 Puma IFVs. The BAAINBw was exercising two options from a EUR1.04 billion contract it awarded PSM to upgrade 154 Pumas in June 2021.

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