The German Bundeswehr has contracted the Dusseldorf-based arms prime, Rheinmetall, to produce and deliver several hundred thousand rounds of ammunition for its fleet of Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).
A call-off from an existing framework agreement, the order costs more than €350m ($381.1m) for 30mm x 173 DM21 service ammunition.
Awarded back in December 2022, the framework contract for the supply of medium-calibre ammunition for the Pumas was worth up to €576m. Follow-up call-offs are therefore expected.
A first call-off of DM21 automatic cannon ammunition under the existing framework contract was already issued in late 2022. Furthermore, a call-off for 2023 followed in mid-2023.
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Delivery will begin this year and continue through to 2027 after product functionality has been demonstrated.
The Puma IFV is a tracked vehicle manufactured by Projekt System and Management, a joint venture between Rheinmetall and Krauss Maffei Wegmann (KMW), now a subsidiary of KNDS.
According to GlobalData the German Army currently operates 345 active units, procured between 2015 and 2019.
In addition, a new generation of light and transport vehicles, including the Fennek and Mowag Eagle, as well as at least 503 Boxer armoured fighting vehicle and 579 Pumas are planned for the ground forces.
Three crew (commander, gunner and driver) operate a Puma, which can carry eight equipped troops in the rear compartment. The vehicle is also a modular construction that allows it to be fully air transportable on an A400M aircraft.
Rheinmetall’s Puma rounds
The Puma is armed with a remotely controlled weapon station, developed by KMW, which is fitted with a dual feed Mauser 30mm Mark (Mk) 30-2 ABM cannon, which is specifically designed to fire ‘airburst’ ammunition.
Rheinmetall is responsible for its integration and the ammunition handling system.
The Mk30-2, which is in production for the Spanish Pizarro/Austrian Ulan IFV, has a rate of fire of 700 rounds a minute and a range of up to three kilometres.
Rheinmetall offers two main types of 30mm x 173 service ammunition: the KETF DM21 (airburst) and the KE DM33 (armour-piercing) as well as the DM58 practice round.
Programming of the KETF DM21 – the abbreviation stands for ‘Kinetic Energy Time Fuse’ – enables the Puma to engage larger soft targets and semi-hard area targets.
Meanwhile, KE DM33 belongs to the new generation of subcalibre Armour Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot – Tracer ammunition. Its penetrator punches through modern armour even at remarkably small angles of impact and at long engagement ranges.
Armed with these two types of ammunition, the Puma can take on a wide spectrum of armoured, semi-hard, soft point and area targets.