More Puma IFVs get S1 design: MELLS missiles and day/night system

BERLIN, GERMANY — Berlin decided to increase the number of Puma IFVs subject to modernization. Thus, out of 150 units that started the modernization at the beginning of the year, Rheinmetall will subject another 143 units to the same process. reminds us that there are 350 Puma IFVs in the inventory of the German army.

German Puma IFVs with next-gen of MUSS soft-kill missile defense
Photo credit: EDR Magazine

At the end of 2022, Rheinmetall stopped production of the Puma IFV. The reason was that during an exercise, the German vehicles reduced their operational readiness to zero in just eight days. As part of NATO battlegroups, Puma IFV damage is a serious problem for German defenses. Although a statement at the time said there was only light and moderate damage, the German publication Soldat und Technik wrote that there was a more serious problem. However, there is no official information about what he is.

The new 143 units that will go through the modernization process will be upgraded to the S1 level. This is a new design of the infantry fighting vehicle, and the decision to switch to it was announced in 2021. Berlin then signed a framework agreement with Rheinmetall, which committed to the update.

Design details S1

One part of the upgrade is not reported. Rheinmetall announced that “among other things” the German Pumas will receive new camera systems. All of them will feature high resolution. This affects both day and night vision systems.

Along with the new optical system, Puma will also acquire a new radio communication system. The German company has not announced what it will be. Getting the lightweight MELLS-guided missile system also makes its way into the new S1 design. This is a multirole-capable lightweight guided missile system ‘designed for engaging armored ground targets’ at ranges of up to 4,000m, or 5,500m with the enhanced Rafael-made Spike long-range [LR] guided missile.

The modernization of the newly announced 143 German Pumas will cost the local taxpayer 770 million euros. The entire modernization of all vehicles will have to be completed by 2029.

Base Puma IFV version

The base version of the Puma IFV includes a 30mm MK30-2/ABM autocannon with 400 rounds. The secondary weapon is the 5.56 mm HK MG4 machine gun. It is this weapon that will be replaced in the S1 design by the 7.62mm MG5 with 2,000 rounds. in addition, the German Pumas have integrated in their weapon turret Spike LR anti-tank guided missile.

Germany showed turret-independent 40mm 360° IFV secondary weapon
Photo credit: Wikipedia

The armor of the Puma IFV is AMAP. Advanced Modular Armor Protection [AMAP] is a German development and according to its manufacturer, IBD Deisenroth Engineering is a 4th generation armor. AMAP is a composite armor made of nano-ceramics and modern steel alloy technologies.

The combat capability of the German Pumas is of utmost importance for the effectiveness and readiness of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force [VJTF] to NATO. Germany has already topped these powers since the decline of the year. However, the 18 damaged Pumas only concerned combat capability inside the Bundessphere. In the VJTF, Germany is ready at any time to replace damaged Pumas with 28 excellently repaired and refurbished, but older versions of the Marder infantry fighting vehicle.


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