The €115m task order was awarded by the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw).
The deal includes the development of a new turret-independent secondary weapon system (TSWA), installation of advanced visualisation and display technology and the provision of new training resources.
The TSWA is said to strengthen the vehicle’s battlefield performance and self-defence capabilities.
It is an unmanned weapon station mounted on the rear section of the vehicle and can be remotely controlled from the vehicle’s rear fighting compartment.
The system can be used to tackle threats at close quarters without having to use the main armament.
The TSWA is capable of firing 40mm ammunition with a maximum range of 400m.
The enhancements are expected to improve the infantry fighting vehicle’s combat performance in a number of areas, as well as provide improved possibilities for training.
The order also covers sample integration, preparations for the full-scale production of the system, and the fabrication of three TSWA prototypes.
In addition, the Puma’s current black and white monitor and accompanying optics will be replaced with high-performance colour displays.
The actual serial production order, during which the entire Puma fleet will be retrofitted with the TSWA, is expected to be awarded in 2023.
The Puma has enough space to accommodate nine troops and can be airlifted to the area of operations in an A400M military transport plane.
Image: Puma infantry fighting vehicle. Photo: courtesy of Rheinmetall.