The technology company VINCORION, based in Wedel, Germany, plans to improve the power system in the Puma infantry fighting vehicle. As part of this, the power electronics are being reengineered and designed to be more robust with modern components.
17/1/2023, Wedel, Germany. “We consider the Puma to be the most powerful infantry fighting vehicle on the market,” says Dr. Stefan Stenzel, Managing Director of VINCORION – notwithstanding the latest debate about outages. He emphasizes: “We are investing in the future viability of the system and are therefore really getting behind it.” There is a consensus among experts that it makes sense to continuously increase the performance of the PUMA in order to meet the increased usage requirements.
Stefan Stenzel is also speaking in the context of the current meeting of the defense committee of the German parliament: it will meet on Wednesday, January 18, in Berlin. The debate about the current status of the PUMA is on the agenda.
The “superior effectiveness” of the vehicle was also confirmed by the German Federal Ministry of Defence – even if subsequent improvements are necessary in order for it to be fit for use. Stefan Stenzel is convinced that this is possible. “Of the 18 malfunctioning infantry fighting vehicles, 17 are in operation again. The system will function very successfully in the long term.”
Advanced functions are installed
In Wedel, the team is working to improve the power electronics of the PUMA – in an area that was not affected by the most recent outages. This involves components that are no longer available on the market being newly certified; in addition, advanced features are being incorporated such as the powering of an electric exhaust turbocharger and external charging of the infantry fighting vehicle.
To this end, the project team at VINCORION extensively exchanges information and ideas with the customer: on the list, for example is the evaluation of the current power system. By the end of the first quarter of 2023, the specifications for the systems and components should be fixed. Based on these, new components will then be transparently developed. The first components for functional models and prototypes will be procured from the end of 2023 onwards and rapidly assembled into modules.
VINCORION will work intensively on new technologies. The company will benefit from synergies with other future projects in the field of power systems. The project has an initial volume of eight million euros.
The vehicle with modular armor
The PUMA is the most powerful infantry fighting vehicle that is being supplied to the German Army. The vehicle, which has been produced since 2015, is one of the strongest infantry fighting vehicles in the world. It can transport nine people and, in protection class A, weighs 31 tons; in protection class C, 41 tons. The additional protection can be obtained by adding modular armor elements – which even makes the PUMA transportable in aircraft such as the A400M.
With its 1,090 hp engine, the vehicle can reach a speed of 70 kilometers per hour on the road. The weaponry consists of an automatic cannon, a 5.56 mm MG, and a grenade launcher. Compared to its predecessor, the Marder infantry fighting vehicle, the PUMA has an automatic cannon with a caliber of 30 mm (Marder, 20 mm), which adds stability and therefore means it can target more accurately. It is also set up in such a way that target recognition is separated from target combat, which is what happens with modern battle tanks.
Photo courtesy VINCORION