Order to integrate guided missile technology into new Puma IFV
Germany's Federal Agency for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) has placed an order with PSM GmbH of Kassel for a major expansion of the Bundeswehr's new infantry fighting vehicle, the Puma. The Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall Group has a 50% stake in PSM, the company in charge of the Puma project.
The order for integration of the multiple role lightweight guided missile system (MELLS) is worth approximately €68 million.
Equipping the Puma with this state-of-the-art guided missile system constitutes an important milestone in the overall programme, as well as underscoring the significance of this procurement project for the Bundeswehr.
The MELLS adds a necessary dimension to the Puma's capabilities profile, enabling it to perform the full range of missions for which it was originally intended. The system is part of an equipment package that encompasses an array of additional capabilities requested by the military but not yet contractually agreed.
The heart of the MELLS system is the Spike guided missile from Eurospike GmbH, another company in which Rheinmetall holds a 50% share. Procurement of the Puma in series should commence this year, and a series order for MELLS integration in every vehicle can now be expected as well.
The integration project involves mounting a launcher for two missiles in the vehicle turret. The Spike guided missile selected here is equipped with an optronic sensor head that transmits imagery via a fibre optic cable to the Puma fighting compartment, where it is displayed on a computer monitor. It can be controlled via the user interface of the Puma's fire control unit. This will enable Germany's new infantry fighting vehicle to engage heavily armoured enemy ground targets and helicopters as well as countering threats behind cover. In addition to the autonomous target tracking capability of the missile itself, the Puma crew can take over control of the missile when it is in flight, e.g. in order to switch to a higher priority target.
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