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BMVg Statement On Schützenpanzer PUMA

Panzergrenadiers of Panzergrenadier Bataillon 212 advance in the cover of Schützenpanzer Puma 1. Los during urban warfare training conducted at the Gefechts Übungs Zentrum Heer (army combat training centre) in December 2022 [© Carl Schulze]

Erklärung BMVg zu Pressemeldungen Schützenpanzer PUMA / BMVg Statement On PUMA Armoured Personnel Carrier Press Reports

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Statement, Berlin, 27 December 2022: [auto-translated] In isolated media reports it is currently shown that the retrofitting of the PUMA infantry fighting vehicle, which was confirmed by the budget committee on December 14, 2022, was recommended by the BMVg despite the warnings of the Federal Audit Office and contrary to better knowledge.

The Bundesministerium der Verteidigung [Federal Ministry of Defence] explains:-

· We have taken note of the comments of the Federal Court of Auditors 2022 and take every comment very seriously. Such comments are regularly included in the decision-making processes in the Federal Ministry of Defence.

· Due to the diverse operational tests, field tests, certifications and exercises, all those involved (BAAINBw, users and industry) have also gained extensive and valuable practical experience, especially under realistic and operational conditions.

· The Inspekteur des Heeres [Chief of Staff of the German Army] confirmed the tactical combat capability of the PUMA in February 2021. During the test phase (March to June 2022), the troops gained further insight into the capabilities already implemented.

· The results of the exercise session in September 2022 in the Army’s firing practice centre illustrated the high level of reliability, both from the point of view of the user and the military maintenance personnel. Last but not least, these results are particularly meaningful because the systems are operated with high intensity against the background of the current geopolitical situation.

· The minister commissioned an analysis by the end of the year. The consolidated result remains to be seen.

· The decision to suspend the retrofitting of the 1st lot and a possible procurement of a 2nd lot is valid until further notice.

The benchmark is:-

· The PUMA must also prove to be stable beyond the current repairs.

· The troops must be able to rely on weapon systems being robust and reliable in combat.

· The PUMA system only has a future in the Bundeswehr under these conditions.

Quotes BM’in and Facts:-

· “If I have to order more Pumas or modernise the existing ones, I need to be sure that they are operational and function reliably. I will only order new Pumas when these conditions are met. That’s why I’ve now stopped retrofitting.” (BM’in WamS of December 25, 2022)

· “There have always been difficulties with the Puma in recent years. I made it clear to the industry: If the Bundeswehr is to continue to rely on this armoured infantry fighting vehicle, then the technical problems must be eliminated as quickly as possible. The industry wants to do that in a few weeks. In addition – and this is much more important – I need a clear perspective that the system can be used reliably for national and alliance defence in the future. The troops need robust and stable equipment that works reliably even under harsh operating conditions.” (BM’in WamS of December 25, 2022)

· The Bundeswehr has a book inventory of 350 PUMA infantry fighting vehicles, 42 of them in the VJTF configuration.

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