Initial training exercises of the German Army involving the new-generation Puma infantry fighting vehicle are scheduled to begin in April 2015.
According to the spokesperson of the German Ministry of Defence, training exercises involving Bundeswehr units equipped with the Puma IFV are due to begin in April, according to current plans. The test program for the vehicles is being prepared.
The Germans are introducing the new Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicle to replace the Marder IFV, which is becoming obsolete. The latter are used inter alia by a unit that is a part of the NATO quick reaction forces. While initial plans called for the procurement of over 400 vehicles, it now appears that the last Bundeswehr reform has reduced this figure to about 350.
The first Pumas of the first series production lot were received by the German Armed Forces back in 2010. However, these vehicles are not being currently used by the front-line units.
The new variant of the Pumas, in its final form, will be armed with 30 mm cannons, Spike ATGW missile launchers (dubbed MELLS) and a coaxial machine gun.
However, according to the latest audit carried out for the German Ministry of Defence, the new ATGM system for armoured vehicles will not achieve the combat-ready status until 2018.