To create a new BMP, the company Projekt System und Management GmbH (PSM) in Kassel was created. The approval of fully developed tactical and technical requirements took place on 26 in February of 1998 of the year, but only in December of 2005 of the year the first Puma was released.
The newest German BMP "Puma"
BMP "Puma" is made according to the classical scheme for infantry fighting vehicles, but it has some peculiarities. The engine compartment is located at the front of the vehicle and takes up about one third of the length of its body. The driver is located in front of the left along the car, to the right of it the motor partition of the power compartment. Behind the department of management and the power department in the car body are the workplaces of the commander and gunner of the BMP: the commander is on the right and the gunner is on the left. The commander and the driver have personal hatches in the roof of the BMP housing. The gunner makes landing and disembarking through the hatch of the commander.
Uninhabited tower with a complex of weapons is located in the central part of the machine body with a shift to the left, i.e. behind the gunner. Along the starboard side behind the commander of the BMP are 4 airborne seats. The paratroopers are located back to starboard. Two more seats for paratroopers are located along the left side of the car immediately behind the tower. They are also placed back to the left side. Seat mounted to the roof of the car body.
For landing and disembarking the crew in the stern of the vehicle there is a door with a power drive, which opens back down, thus turning into a ramp. In the roof of the stern of the BMP there are two oval hatches, the covers of which open to the center of the vehicle. Loopholes for firing from the individual weapons landing is not provided. The car body is welded from rolled armor plates. The chassis has a five-bearing (on board) suspension, with the location of the drive wheel in front and the guide wheel behind. The suspension is individual, independent, hydropneumatic.
High security (“unsurpassed in its class” - according to the developers) BMP “Puma” is provided with a complex of passive and active means.
Three levels of machine protection are envisaged: option “A” (air transport), option with a higher level of protection, and option “C” (combat).
In option “A”, the combat weight of the vehicle is 31,45 tons, which ensures the transportation of infantry fighting vehicles by air using A400M transport aircraft. The armored hull of a combat vehicle provides protection against bullets of large-caliber machine guns and large-caliber sniper rifles (caliber up to 14,5 mm) in all projections. In frontal projections, the armored protection of the Puma should keep 30 mm shells of automatic guns and hand grenades of anti-tank grenade launchers hit. True, this does not specify which grenades and from which grenade launchers. It is well known that modern rounds for grenade launchers can penetrate even the frontal armor of modern tanks.
In option “C”, the combat weight of the vehicle is 43 t. In this version, the vehicle is translated by linking special armored modules onto it. They are installed both on the front parts of the hull and the Puma tower, and on the side and stern, as well as on the roof of the hull. In this case, in the event of the defeat of any of the modules can be quickly replaced. In option “C”, the crew and systems are protected from 30-mm sub-caliber projectiles of automatic cannons and grenades of hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers, not only in frontal, but also in side projections of the machine. All other projections provide protection against bullets from large-caliber machine guns and large-caliber sniper rifles (caliber up to 14,5 mm).
In addition, in both types of protection, the crew’s survival is guaranteed in case of undermining of anti-tank mines. But again, it does not indicate what power these mines are and what action.
To increase the survival rate of the machine on the battlefield, the BMP is equipped with a warning system for laser irradiation. Thanks to the set of sensors of this system, not only the radiation of laser range finders can be detected, but also missile launches or cannon shots are reported. The automatic system provides shooting aerosol grenades for masking, and also gives direction to the threat, in order to open fire on the object threatening the BMP.
The defense of the vehicle is also enhanced by the high reconnaissance capabilities of the BMP. The installation of low-level cameras on the sides and stern of the hull and turret ensures constant monitoring of 360 ° around the car. The image from the cameras enters the LCD monitors of the commander and the gunner. In addition, according to the developers, a target designation can be issued to the commander of the detected target from any of the prismatic surveillance devices.
The commander of the vehicle conducts observation through a panoramic combined sight mounted on the turret roof, which has a field of view stabilized in two planes and a variable multiplicity of its increase.
For self-defense on the rear of the machine there is a six-barrel 76-mm fragmentation grenade launcher. The effective firing range is from 30 to 65 m.
The BMP Puma is equipped with a collective defense system against weapons of mass destruction and a fire detection and extinguishing system.
One of the requirements for the new German BMP was to ensure its mobility at the level of the main battle tank Leopard-2. Given the considerable combat mass of the BMP, this task could only be achieved by ensuring a high power density of the power plant.
The 10-cylinder four-stroke V-diesel diesel engine MTU 10V 892 HPD (High Power Density) with turbocharging developed by the famous German company MTU was used as the power unit for the power plant BMP Puma.
The diesel is capable of power up to 1000 HP. at 4250 rpm The maximum engine torque is 2070 Nm at 3200 rpm. These characteristics of the power unit provide the machine with specific power up to 34 hp / t at booking level “A” and 25,3 hp / t at booking level “C”. These indicators allow the Puma to develop speed on the highway up to 70 km / h.
The MTU 10V 892 HPD diesel engine has two turbochargers providing a fivefold compression ratio of air supplied to the engine. Engine cooling system dual-circuit liquid.
The engine is equipped with electronic control systems, electric start-up, to ensure starting at low temperatures, and an integrated starter-generator.
The HSWL 256 automatic gearbox is mounted in a single unit with a diesel engine. The transmission includes a torque converter with a lock-up clutch and directly a gearbox, providing six gears for forward and one reverse gear, a vehicle turning system, a braking system and a transmission control system.
The transmission control is electrohydraulic, therefore it does not require much physical effort when driving a car. Gear shifting when moving automatically.
High speed BMP "Puma", especially over rough terrain, and provided with a new chassis. Its peculiarity is that it is assembled separately from the body of the machine and is a separate structure, and for each side. Then, to each side of the hull, these structures are attached through rubber elements, which significantly reduces the level of vibrations in the car and noise. So two problems were solved at once: crew fatigue was reduced and the failure of instruments and components.
According to the developers, such a suspension design not only allows to increase the effective volume inside the BMP corps, but also reduces the risk of damage to the inside crew members and airborne troops by scattering suspension parts when undermining mines.
Uninhabited tower with an armament complex
High fire power of the BMP Puma is provided by modern fire control systems, powerful armaments, an electromechanical stabilizer and other systems.
The main weapon on the Puma is the 30-mm automatic cannon Rheinmetall Waffe Munition MK 30-2 / AVM.
It has dual feed and uses standard NATO ammunition 30x173 mm. In the ammunition there are APFSDS-T armored-piercing sub-caliber ammunition and KETF fragmentation with remote blasting, sometimes called AVM. According to the developers, the gun is capable of striking armored targets with single shots and bursts at ranges up to 3000 m. The rate of firing with bursts is 200 rounds per minute. The initial velocity of the APFSDS-T projectile is 1385 m / s, and the KETF projectile - 1100 m / s.
The developers believe that at ranges up to 3000 m from the gun MK 30-2 / AVM, you can successfully fight all types of armored targets, striking their aiming devices, surveillance, sensors, which are outside. It is also possible to fight with helicopters and enemy manpower, unarmored targets, using KETF shells. These shells have inside 162 a tungsten cylindrical fragment of 1,24 weight.
The ammunition of the gun in the Puma BMP is 400 shots, laid in 4 tape. Two ribbons (200 shots) are in the niche of the tower in a special store and are ready for use, and two more - in the car body.
The secondary weapon is the MG5,56 4-mm machine gun. Ammunition is 2000 cartridges in two tapes. One tape is ready for use, the other is in the installation.
As an additional weapon, the Puma BMP has a six-barrel grenade launcher mounted in the rear of the car on the left side. It is intended for shooting 76-mm fragmentation grenades to destroy enemy personnel at ranges up to 50 m, suddenly appearing behind the machine.
For the production of aerosol curtains on the tower there are 8 launchers of smoke (aerosol) grenades, combined into two groups.
BMP "Puma" is equipped with a modern automated fire control system (FCS), which is integrated into the command control system - IFIS (Integrated Combat Forces Command and Weapon Control System).
Directly, it consists of a combined WAO gunner sighting system, a PERI RTWL-B panoramic commanding sight, an onboard computer with an interface, controls, video monitors, firing condition sensors. The FCS is interfaced with a digital all-electric two-plane weapon stabilizer.
Optoelectronic aiming complex WAO gunner has an independent stabilization of the field of view in two planes.
As with all the latest designs of armored vehicles, in the Puma BMP, serious attention was paid to improving the efficiency of command handling. The machine is equipped with an automated control system for troops and weapons IFIS (Integrated Combat Forces Command and Weapon Control System). It provides a guaranteed flow of information for controlling combat units from the battalion, company, platoon and detachment to a separate combat vehicle (tank or infantry fighting vehicle). The ACS used in the Puma BMP provides:
• the use of networks of subsystems to control, inform, communicate, control weapons, including when outside the machine;
• the ability to control unmanned vehicles, both in the air and on the ground;
• the possibility of improving and building up additional components of the command and control network. Of the strengths of the Puma BMP, it is worth noting the high security (compared to other models of BMP, and not machines comparable in mass), high firing performance from an automatic gun, achieved through the use of sophisticated weapons control systems and new ammunition. including remote undermining, high mobility, modern technologies of technical and rear support, high command controllability.
Yet the machine is not without flaws. One of them is a large combat mass. In version “C” of the BMP “Puma” in 1,5 - 2 is times heavier than other models of BMP and comparable with the Russian BMPT. However, it remains vulnerable to RPGs (although the developers claim the opposite). Judging by the experience of recent local conflicts, it is precisely reactive anti-tank grenades that defeat most of the combat vehicles. Consequently, an increase in the mass of the BMP Puma is unjustified. In addition, there is no data on the mobility of this "Puma" on heavy soils.
Another drawback is the lack of ability to fight tanks and other armored combat vehicles with high security. On the BMP "Puma" there is no complex of guided missile weapons.
An auxiliary weapon in the form of an 5,56-mm MG4 machine gun coupled to a cannon using machine gun cartridges is clearly not enough for a combat vehicle. The ammunition of the automatic cannon, which is ready to use, is not enough - just 200 shots. Existing 200 shots should be loaded into ammunition supply stores only when the crew leaves the vehicle.
The disadvantages include the lack of mechanical backup systems to control the weapon system.