AIn view of the numerous failures of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle during an exercise in Lower Saxony, a joint initiative by the Ministry of Defense and the armaments companies involved is apparently being launched. This was announced by a spokesman for the company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann on Tuesday evening in the FAZ. KMW decided “together with partners from the official and industrial side to take an initiative to analyze the failure reports as quickly as possible and repair the affected systems as quickly as possible,” said the spokesman.
The primary goal of the initiative should therefore be to make the Puma operational again. Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) stopped further vehicles and stopped modernizing existing vehicles after reports of the failure of all 18 armored personnel carriers during exercises at the military training area in Bergen, Lower Saxony, on Monday. At the same time, she had announced that the Puma would not be used as part of the NATO spearhead VJTF from the beginning of next year, as previously planned. The task is now to be taken over by the decades-old predecessor Marder.
The necessary capacities for the repair of the Pumas should already be available. However, the spokesman emphasized, it was first necessary to obtain “access to the vehicles”. From this it can be inferred that the company has not yet been able to inspect a single one of the 18 “total failures” that are said to have occurred up to the previous week.
Only when the Pumas have been “detailed” examined can the necessary measures be taken and “reliable statements about maintenance and the scope of the work” can be made.
The army has around 350 Pumas, and at a unit price of 17 million euros it is the most expensive infantry fighting vehicle in the world. It was only at the beginning of 2021 that a working group from industry, the army and the procurement office managed to get a total of 41 Pumas combat-ready after many years in the troops.
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