German armed forces will spend the next two months in the UAE testing the performance of the new Puma infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) in hot climates after completing cold tests in Norway last year.
The tests will be conducted under the direction of the Federal Office for equipment, information technology and operation of the Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) by personnel of the Bundeswehr Technical Centre (WTD) 91 Meppen (weapons) and WTD 41 Trier for mobility. For this purpose, approximately 20 to 30 employees will be on site, depending on the testing focus. Climate and infrastructure conditions in the UAE are particularly well-suited to meeting the high demands required of the tests.
In addition to a firing and driving tests in desert conditions, the tests will in particular focus on the Puma’s suitability for very hot weather operations. For this purpose, the temperature profiles inside the vehicle will be measured, compared to the ambient temperature, and analyzed.
The weather tests are part of the extensive investigations required to demonstrate whether the PUMA meets military requirements. In addition to the weather tests, firepower and mobility will also be tested.
The Puma IFV is intended to replace the Marder, which has been in service with the Bundeswehr for more than 40 years. Depending on the results of the weather tests, it is expected that the first production Puma IFV can be delivered to the troops next year.
The prime contractor of the Puma program is Projekt System Management GmbH, a joint venture of Rheinmetall Land Systems Ltd. and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co. KG, is to deliver a total of 350 Puma IFVs by the end of 2020.