Rheinmetall is delivering a project to modernise the Puma infantry fighting vehicle for the Nato spearhead Very High Joint Readiness Task Force 2023 (VJTF 2023).
The Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support awarded a contract to ARGE Puma for the ‘System Panzergrenadier VJTF 2023’ project on 11 July.
ARGE Puma is a consortium between Puma manufacturer PSM Projekt System Management and Rheinmetall Electronics.
PSM is a 50:50 joint venture between Rheinmetall Defence and Krauss- Maffei Wegmann.
Rheinmetall’s share in the contracts for the System Panzergrenadier VJTF 2023 project is more than €470m. The consortium has started work on the contract.
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The ‘System Panzergrenadier’ project will bring together the Puma infantry fighting vehicle and the modular Future Soldier, Expanded System (IdZ-ES) soldier system in a network-enabled warfare environment.
As part of the project, the consortium will deliver a combat performance upgrade of 41 Puma infantry fighting vehicles and measures to improve communication between the vehicles and dismounted infantrymen.
Rheinmetall expects the systems to be delivered at the end of next year or the beginning of 2021.
Furthermore, ARGE Puma will provide complete logistic support, including spare parts and special tools, for the VJTF Puma vehicles for five years, as well as perform integration of the MELLS multirole light guided missile system.
Other equipment in the package includes a new generation of digital radios for the infantry fighting vehicles, daylight and thermal imaging cameras and a colour display feature.
In a statement, Rheinmetall said: “Optimised day and night vision will increase the range of reconnaissance, while simultaneously widening the crew’s field of view. Furthermore, new training resources will enable the unit to train in a highly realistic manner.”
An additional contract covers the development of the ‘Vision Enhancement, Chassis’.
The German company is also providing its TacNet battle management system (BMS) to equip the mechanised infantry companies of the VJTF 2023.
The firm noted that it will work on bringing an initial lot of ten platoon versions of the ‘Future Soldier – Expanded System’ soldier system up to modern VJTF 2023 standard.
A subcontract has been awarded to Rohde & Schwarz to supply software-defined radios for Puma for VJTF 2023.