Puma stands up to heat and sand

The Puma armoured infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV) successfully underwent hot climate zone trials.

Following tactical and logistical trials, this year the Puma armoured infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV) successfully underwent hot climate zone trials. In early November the two tried-and-tested Puma AIFVs returned from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in good condition.

The trials were conducted under the overall direction of Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw). Experienced defence industry personnel provided the necessary organizational and especially technical support on location. The host nation suppor¬ted the undertaking with infrastructure, transport and daily catering in exemplary fashion. These summer trials lasted over two months and involved various phases.

First, the accuracy of the Puma’s main and secondary armament – the MK30-2/ABM automatic cannon and the MG4 machine gun – was put to the test. Live firing was conducted in stationary mode as well as on the move, both day and night. Temperatures at the modern firing range in the northwest UAE ranged between 35 and 50° C in the shade. Yet the experts from Defence Technology Detachment (WTD) 91 successfully shot their way through the entire test programme. After conducting their own tactical firing procedures, German military users were left in no doubt as to the Puma’s ability to complete its tasks with precision under extreme conditions. In addition, the air-conditioning system, which had to operate at high temperatures for weeks on end, proved highly efficient in multiple test series and daily operation. The participants also gave high marks to the IFV’s Multifunctional Self-Protection System (MUSS).

The Puma IFV demonstrated its mobility at two other proving grounds in the north and northeast of the UAE. Experts from WTD 41 were in charge of the mobility trials. Displaying excellent staying power with no breakdowns, the Puma proved that it could handle a great variety of different terrain types, including sand dunes, steep loose-surface tracks and a rocky desert streambed. Successful completion of the summer trials represents another important milestone on the path to getting the Puma to the troops next year.

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