German optronic technologies and products supplier Carl Zeiss Optronics is to equip the German Army’s infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) Puma with state-of-the-art optics and optronics.

The company will start the production of the commander’s periscope and the weapons system optronics for more than 400 Pumas, to enhance the ability of German soldiers to provide protection and reconnaissance.

Once the intelligent combination of optics and optronics is operational, German soldiers will be able to maintain an overview and recognise approaching enemies or irregular forces quickly and with improved accuracy.

The Puma, which is currently in the preproduction stage, will be eqiupped with state-of-the-art thermal imagers, daylight cameras and a direct optical channel for the vehicle commander.

The vehicles are scheduled to enter service in 2010 and will replace the aging Marder IFVs. The 31.5t vehicle has a operational range of 600km and can move at a speed of 70km/h.

The optical and optronic systems are being assembled at the company’s facility in Oberkochen and the first integration-ready system is scheduled to be delivered in mid-2010.