Bundeswehr receives first production-standard Puma AIFV

PumaJane’s is reporting that the German Army has received their first batch of production standard Puma Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicles at a ceremony at the Unterluss Proving Ground on June 23.  Produced by Projekt System & Management GmbH (PSM), the Bundeswehr plans to take delivery of 350 Puma AIFVs by 2020, a number reduced from the original plan for 405.   According to the article, the total value of the Puma contract is now EUR4.3 billion (USD4.9 billion) including additional equipment.

The Puma AIFV is the replacement for the current Rheinmetall Landsysteme Marder 1 IFV, which entered service with the Bundeswehr in 1971, although it has been constantly upgraded since then, the latest version being the Marder 1A5 developed for deployment to Afghanistan.  The Puma has already undergone a number of major design changes, including modifications to the hull that included adding an additional road wheel either side for improved mobility.

Full article here.

German Newspaper challenges German policy of no DU tank ammo

leopard_2a6_2A recent article in German newspaper Die Welt makes the claim that German tungsten based APFSDS 120mm ammunition is ineffective against the armor of Russian T90 MBTs.  The author of the article, Han Ruhle, was the Chief of Policy Planning Staff in the German Department of Defense 1982-1988.  He lays the blame for the lack of effective depleted uranium APFSDS round in the German inventory at the feet of German environmentalists and anti-nuclear activists.  The article states that:

Currently, the Bundeswehr has a limited effective means of anti-tank ammunition with the DM63, an arrow-tungsten-based ammunition. Their penetrating power is indeed improved significantly over the old munitions and corresponds with the enhanced 120-millimeter cannon to just the level of the old uranium core ammunition of the US from the 80s. However, this is not enough to penetrate the newer versions of the T80- and T90 tanks.

The full article can be viewed here (in German).  This article comes at a time when the German military has suffered a number of embarrassments regarding equipment effectiveness, procurement and readiness.  The G36 rifle has come under criticism for inaccuracy at high temperatures, the Puma IFV has suffered a series of delays and cost overruns and earlier this year a German unit on exercises was shown with broomsticks substituted for missing gun barrels.

Not surprisingly, the decidedly pro-Russian news site Sputnik International pounced on this article, declaring “German Army has no Chance against Russian Tanks