Military Review

Reflections on booking and upgrading the German BMP "Puma"

32
The Puma infantry fighting vehicle is the newest German combat vehicle, it was adopted in the 2014 year. It was stated that this is one of the most advanced and protected infantry fighting vehicles in service. And no wonder: after all, in the configuration of maximum booking, it has a rather large combat mass - up to 43 tons. Only the T-15 Armata with its 45 tons seems to have a comparable or higher level of booking in certain areas (but, apparently, its uninhabited tower is rather poorly protected).




Armored protection "Pumas"

The Puma platform uses the concept of a modular reservation, in which the level of protection can be adjusted according to the level of threats. This concept also allowed the Puma air transportability to be maintained, although at the same time it is much better protected than other armored vehicles. It can be transported by Airbus A400M military transport aircraft, although there is one nuance. For every three Puma vehicles, four A400M aircraft are needed, a fourth aircraft is needed to transport the modular armor sets of these vehicles. In addition, modular armor makes it easy to replace damaged segments, a similar idea is implemented in some sets of mounted armor as early as 90's. Puma's mass ranges from 31,5 to 43 tons in a heavy combat configuration with all-round protection against medium-caliber shells and RPGs.


Side armor without DZ blocks, part of hinged ceramic armor removed

Up to two layers of hinged armor can be attached to the sides of the Puma machine, made of armored steel, through damping bolts. This hinged passive armor is most likely made of a ceramic composite material. According to the company Rheinmetall Chempro (a subsidiary of the German Rheinmetall), one of the suppliers of armor for the Puma project, in this vehicle the BMP, in addition to other types of armor, used the system of composite armor AM AR-B developed by IBD Deisenroth. As for shells of kinetic action, the specific strength of AMAP-B in this case is almost four times higher than the specific strength of ordinary and alloyed armor steel.


Layers of Ceramic Armor

AMAR-B's light and medium versions, which provide protection that corresponds to the level 1-6 of the NATO standard STANAG 4569, use alloyed steel with a nanometer structure and nano-ceramics. These modern materials have a modified microstructure (in the case of ceramics, the grain size is less than a micrometer, that is, we can speak about nanometers). As a result, they have increased strength and reduced tendency to crack formation in the event of a second strike of an armor-piercing projectile. On the basis of external examination and protection requirements, it can be assumed that Puma side armor modules are a “pie” consisting of a nanoceramic plate glued to a flexible aramid substrate covered with a steel plate. Ceramics for this reservation are supplied by CeramTec-ETEC GmbH.

It is possible that only one of the two layers of passive armor is necessary to protect against 14,5-mm armor-piercing bullets, and the second layer is part of the additional armor to protect against medium-caliber ammunition. From what exactly the caliber protects the armor of the Puma machine is unknown, but according to the manufacturer, at least from the 30-mm armor-piercing pierced piercing shells (BOPS). According to some experts, the actual level of protection is significantly higher. The MTO air inlet is also closed by an additional armor module made of inclined spaced metal plates (alloy steel was assumed to be used instead of nonballistic low carbon steel).

During the development of armor hull "Puma" changed several times. Initially, on all the first five prototypes, it consisted only of thick passive composite armor. At the time of the announcement of the production of a pre-install batch, Puma machines already had thicker passive armor with box-type modules. These machines also featured trellised screens extended to the center of the road wheels. Then there were two options, apparently, only with a dynamic protection system. In the final configuration, DZ blocks are installed in the upper part of the sides, passive armor in the center and lattice screens in the lowest part (that is, up to the support rollers). The stern of the machine is also covered with latticed screens.

CLARA (Composite Lightweight Adaptable Reactive Armor), supplied by Dynamit Nobel Defense (DND), uses fiber composite panels without metal components in order to reduce the likelihood of damage to nearby infantry by metal fragments. According to a DND company representative, this DZ system provides, at least in 10, the best protection per unit mass compared to “regular” armor (perhaps here meant ordinary armored steel), but it cannot cope with tandem combat units. Judging by the patents obtained by DND, it can be a multi-layer DZ with two reactive layers and one passive. There are light and heavy versions of CLARA DZ; judging by the thickness and weight of the DZ blocks, it seems that a heavy variant is used on the Puma machine. Verseidag Indutex Ultrax plates (part of Rheinmetall Verseidag) are also installed on the machine to protect against 30-mm BOPS and impact core type shells.


Tower "Puma" on the assembly. Compositional Armor Sheets Not Yet Installed

The remotely controlled tower of the Puma machine is welded from aluminum sheets. Aluminum should be welded at a constant temperature, which suggests that a more advanced alloy is being used, rather than the standard 5083 aluminum alloy, which was widely used in the manufacture of M113 and M2 Bradley armored vehicles. The 5083 alloy, in fact, does not give any weight savings compared to steel; In some cases, to provide the same level of protection, an aluminum sheet is more than three times thicker than a sheet of armor steel.

The company Aleris said that it supplied aluminum armor for the manufacture of prototypes "Puma"; although not officially confirmed, but apparently. Aleris also supplied aluminum alloy armor for the Puma series models. The alloys that Aleris manufactures and which can be used to make the Puma Tower include aluminum alloys of the grades AA2519 and AA7039. With the same level of protection, they allow you to save from 15 to 20 weight percent compared to aluminum grade 5059 (in turn, much stronger than the old 5083 alloy).

Additional AMAR-B composite armor plates are mounted on the basic structure of the aluminum tower. To protect against 14,5-mm armor-piercing bullets, one plate is used; To protect against 30-mm projectiles, an additional layer of mounted composite armor modules can be attached.


The close-up of the sloped armored plate of the Puma machine

The sloped armor plate at Puma most likely consists of the non-explosive reactive armor NERA (non-explosive reactive armor) installed under the slope, as well as the composite armor modules that are bolted to the steel case. Layer NERA is located above the main armor. NERA, as a rule, consists of two metal (steel, aluminum or titanium) layers, between which a layer of compressed elastic material, for example, rubber, is placed. Upon impact, the rubber expands and the upper plate expands. This is a very effective way of dealing with a jet of a shaped charge, which is often loaded with rocket-propelled grenades and ATGMs. Swelling causes the metal to move towards the cumulative jet, having a destructive effect on it. In the photos (see below), we see only one layer of NERA, but theoretically there could be a sandwich of several separated layers. Most likely, in DZ NERA on the Puma armored vehicle is not used rubber, but a modern composite material.

Reflections on booking and upgrading the German BMP "Puma"

Non-explosive (inert) reactive armor (b) destroys the cumulative jet (d) due to the same mechanism as the classic DZ (a and c)

According to Rheinmetall Chempro and IBD Deisenroth Engineering, the Puma BMP is also equipped with AMAP-SC composite armor, which, compared to traditional armored steel, provides the same protection against cumulative projectiles with the same mass in 8-10. Modules of composite armor, bolted to the hull under the NERA DZ, most likely used nanoceramics. According to experts, ceramic armor provides twice the best protection against shaped charges compared to steel.


Puma case on assembly

The Puma case is made of steel. On the first machines (pre-production or installation batch), bending and welding of steel sheets took four months. Parts of the hull are manufactured according to the “Dunnblech-Biegetechnologie” technology (thin sheet metal bending technology), which is also used in the manufacture of the Boxer multipurpose armored vehicle. The body is welded from pre-bent steel sheets, which allows to reduce their range of sheets. Also, this technology allows the use of thinner steel sheets (weight reduction) and reduce the number of weak and vulnerable spots in which material integrity can be disturbed if armor-piercing shells hit and mines and improvised explosive devices explode.


The actual thickness of the armor (without tilting) of the front part of the Puma machine can be seen in the photo above. On finished machines, this thickness, of course, can no longer be determined, including due to the driver’s viewing devices protruding from the inclined front sheet. The frontal projection of the Puma case is protected from medium-sized ammunition (for example, 30-mm BOPS). projectile-type projectiles, as well as rocket-propelled grenades with cumulative warheads. Considering the slope, significantly more 300 mm should be allocated for armor. Although it is worth noting that maybe about half of it can occupy an empty volume, which is necessary for the destructive effect of DZ NERA.


The base tower of the Puma armored vehicle provides all-round protection against 14,5-mm armor-piercing bullets of large-caliber machine guns and sniper rifles. The Puma Tower can be equipped with additional armor to provide protection against medium caliber ammunition, large fragments of artillery shells and cluster munitions submarines. With the exception of a small curved section behind the cannon (which moves when the cannon is raised), the additional armor on the roof consists of the “Igelpanzerung” (lit., hedgehog armor), which consists of a variety of rubber spikes that destroy the cumulative submarines of cluster artillery munitions. "Studded" protection over the ammunition for unknown reasons, separated from the main armor. Above the habitable compartment, the rooftop armor consists of thicker composite sheets or two thinner sheets. It is worth recalling that artillery cluster munitions with cumulative submarines can penetrate more than 200 mm of armor steel.


The estimated structure of the upper body armor

Apparently, the Puma armored vehicle is currently the most protected infantry fighting vehicle in the world; here it can only compete with the heavy BMP T-15 on the Armata platform after being adopted by the Russian army. To protect against ATGM, the Puma machine is equipped with a MUSS complex, which is being tested in the UK in order to assess the possibility of its installation on the Challenger 2 tank and other combat vehicles.

Future upgrades

The Puma should be equipped with a MELLS universal launcher for launching Spike-LR anti-tank systems, but this process is hampered by various problems (first, the original rocket did not meet German accuracy requirements during the first test series, then there were problems with the launcher there are problems with financing). An additional installation of a TSWA armament independent of the tower must also be installed, but due to the changing requirements of the German army, the developers were forced to change its design. The original installation (photo below) had six 76-mm grenades (lethal and non-lethal) with a relatively small radius of action. The ring-type setup is now charging 24 40-mm air blow grenades.


There are other plans for modernization. Machine gun caliber 5,56 mm should be replaced with a machine gun caliber 7,62 mm. The Puma should also be equipped with an all-view situational awareness system SAS 360 from Rheinmetall. There are plans to upgrade a computer system that would allow control of ground-based robotic devices. But here a number of questions arise. Will it be a modified version of the Puma to accommodate several vehicles and places for their operators (then there is no space left for the landing)? Or will each Puma machine (while remaining traditional BMP) be able to control one or more robots? In the second case, who will then control the robotic apparatus, if the landing force has dismounted, because the gunner operator, the commander or driver is busy performing their direct duties.


In addition, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann developed the IWS-35 remotely-controlled combat module with the same opto-electronics as installed on the Puma BMP. The module is armed with a Bushmaster III 35-mm cannon with a chain drive and an 12,7-mm machine gun paired with it. Bushmaster III gun with external power may, after replacing the barrel and a few parts, can fire 50-mm SuperShot ammunition. It is possible that the company is going to offer the Puma armored vehicle with an IWS-35 module with a Bushmaster III cannon for export.

Materials used: Alex Alexeev
www.shephardmedia.com
www.bundeswehr.de
www.kmweg.com
appliedmechanics.asmedigitalcollection.asme.org
www.blogger.com
imgur.com
www.wikipedia.org
en.wikipedia.org
32 comments
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  1. Winnie76
    Winnie76 24 September 2018 08: 57
    +6
    Well done Germans. Hands grow from the right place.
  2. Yrec
    Yrec 24 September 2018 09: 08
    +1
    Until the "Puma" is run in combat conditions, it makes no sense to shout at all angles that she is the most perfect / advanced / protected. I remember it was the same with the Leopard. They shouted that he was the best, until he drove into Syria. Now it is extremely rare for an armored object to be fired from a rifle / KKP / small-caliber cannon. In about 80% of cases, they are being used with ATGMs, 10-15 percent - mines / landmines.
    Therefore, until the "Puma" gets a gusli in some war - this is a parquet BMP.
    1. parma
      parma 24 September 2018 14: 44
      +6
      Isn't it too early to shout about "Armata"? "Puma" goes into series and for a long time and confidently replaces the old equipment ...
      The story with the "leopards" is a separate story altogether - there are more tactics of use than the tank itself ... If you remember, the T-90 also has losses in Syria, and if you take into account the number of losses and the number of those involved, it is still unclear whose box will be worse .. ...
      1. Yrec
        Yrec 24 September 2018 16: 01
        0
        "Armata" is not a tank, but a platform. T-14 is a non-serial sample for its run-in. A different machine will go into production, even though the T-14 100 units have been ordered. And so, all of you correctly said: it's not about hardware, but people.
  3. san4es
    san4es 24 September 2018 09: 57
    +5
    The Puma infantry fighting vehicle is the latest German combat vehicle; it was adopted in 2014.
    Combat weight, t:
    - level of protection "A" 31,45
    - increase protection level 41
    - protection level "C" 43
    Crew + landing, people 3 + 6
    Length, m 7,4
    Width, m 3,7
    The height of the roof of the tower, m 3,1
    Engine power, kW (hp) 800 (1000)
    Max. speed, km / h:
    - forward 70
    - back 30

    ... Enhanced protection hi
    1. VicktorVR
      VicktorVR 11 December 2018 11: 03
      +1
      Oh and nimble.
  4. Curious
    Curious 24 September 2018 10: 25
    +9
    "... alloy steel with nanometer structure is used ..."
    This is called steel with a nanocrystalline structure.
    The formation of nanocrystalline structures allows to obtain structural materials with higher properties. For example, their microhardness is 2-7 times higher than the hardness of coarse-grained analogues, and this does not depend on the method of obtaining the material. The tensile strength of nanocrystalline materials is 1.5-2 times higher than that of coarse-grained analogues.
    1. Yrec
      Yrec 24 September 2018 16: 05
      0
      I doubt that this applies to armored alloy steels. I can agree on tens of percent, but hardly on hundreds.
      1. Curious
        Curious 24 September 2018 16: 17
        +2
        Firstly, I wrote construction materials. Secondly - what are your doubts based on?
        Any specific data?
  5. Dead duck
    Dead duck 24 September 2018 12: 26
    +1
    ceramics have a significant drawback - they are "disposable" ... when hit, they are destroyed much more (especially the adjacent layers and in a larger radius) than metals.
    and what will happen to this protection with the numerous hits of 30 mm cast iron?
    1. CTABEP
      CTABEP 25 September 2018 17: 04
      +1
      The same as with ordinary armored steel - cracking with the probability of breaking a hefty piece. But it’s better to withstand 3 hits and get through at 4 than catch 4 neat holes, which are then easier to brew.
  6. Sergey-8848
    Sergey-8848 24 September 2018 13: 05
    +3
    Serious car. After "Marder" - really a leap.
  7. NF68
    NF68 24 September 2018 20: 46
    0
    One bad thing is that this "Puma" is very dear.
  8. LastPS
    LastPS 24 September 2018 21: 12
    0
    Quote: Yrec
    I remember it was the same with the Leopard. They shouted that he was the best, until he drove into Syria.

    Well, of course, the experience of the Turkish obsolete Leo 2A4 of the beginning of the 90's, which were used as stationary firing points, is very indicative, yeah.
    1. Bull Terrier
      Bull Terrier 25 September 2018 00: 28
      -2
      In fact, it is indicative precisely in terms of armor. In fact, the series are only mounted and vary. Even if there were A6 there would be little effect on it. It just proved once again that the tank, no matter how stuffed it was, was extremely vulnerable. And crew protection is now in the first place.
      1. LastPS
        LastPS 25 September 2018 07: 55
        0
        What do you mean, but KAZ'y just came up with - useless garbage, and the sides are already protected by not easy rubber screens.
      2. NF68
        NF68 25 September 2018 22: 20
        0
        In fact, it is indicative precisely in terms of armor. In fact, the series are only mounted and vary.


        Starting with the 2A6 modification, a more powerful 55-caliber gun Rh120 L55 was installed - this gun can be installed on all tanks of early modifications on which 44-caliber guns were originally installed. On the 2A7V variant, an even more powerful 55-caliber Rh120 L55A1 gun will be installed.
    2. Graz
      Graz 25 September 2018 05: 40
      0
      Quote: LastPS
      Quote: Yrec
      I remember it was the same with the Leopard. They shouted that he was the best, until he drove into Syria.

      Well, of course, the experience of the Turkish obsolete Leo 2A4 of the beginning of the 90's, which were used as stationary firing points, is very indicative, yeah.

      so the Kurds destroyed them with even older models of the Soviet anti-tank systems than these tanks
      1. LastPS
        LastPS 25 September 2018 07: 51
        +1
        Not a single tank of the early 90s was defended in the side projection, including the Leopard. No one even claimed that he was capable of this, therefore Yurtz’s comment on Puma, by citing Leo as an example, who finds himself in the worst situation, is idle talk.
        1. NF68
          NF68 25 September 2018 22: 21
          0
          Quote: LastPS
          Not a single tank of the beginning of the 90's was defended in the side projection,


          They had not had such protection before.
          1. LastPS
            LastPS 27 September 2018 08: 48
            0
            Turkish Leo were modifications of the 2A4, so I write that his contemporaries did not possess such properties, except for the contact-1,5 on the t-80 from old non-tandem RPG-7 shots, and any rocket-propelled grenades such as m-72 and rpg-18 could be protected on board.
            1. NF68
              NF68 3 October 2018 17: 03
              0
              Quote: LastPS
              Turkish Leo were modifications of the 2A4, so I write that his contemporaries did not possess such properties, except for the contact-1,5 on the t-80 from old non-tandem RPG-7 shots, and any rocket-propelled grenades such as m-72 and rpg-18 could be protected on board.


              And the latest versions of the Leo-2 are also not protected then getting into the board of a more or less modern anti-tank missile. A missile for any warhead is more powerful than a PRG.
    3. NF68
      NF68 25 September 2018 16: 33
      0
      Quote: LastPS
      Quote: Yrec
      I remember it was the same with the Leopard. They shouted that he was the best, until he drove into Syria.

      Well, of course, the experience of the Turkish obsolete Leo 2A4 of the beginning of the 90's, which were used as stationary firing points, is very indicative, yeah.


      Most likely, getting anti-tank missiles on board would be dangerous for the latest versions of the Leopards 2A7 and 2A7V.
  9. Comrade Kim
    Comrade Kim 25 September 2018 01: 41
    0
    The cougar was very good before the modernization.
    I really like this BMP.
    But it is even more to the liking that the cost is great, and it can not afford any barmaley and shaytan.
    1. parma
      parma 25 September 2018 09: 47
      +2
      IMHO of course, but if you mean terrorists and radicals, then there are two main reasons for their lack of such technology:
      - lack of diplomatic opportunity to buy (simply because no one will sell, even with a 100 one-time extra charge)
      -no need to buy, maybe in the conditions of civil wars in Arab and African countries (namely, there the militants have equipment) there are simply no tasks for such machines in terms of price / quality / complexity of casing, because the old good PG-7 charges are cheaper there chicken and burn old equipment with a bang, and the price of human life is even lower than these very PG-7 ....
      But if you are talking about the countries of the Persian Gulf that are not especially beloved in our country, then for them the cars are quite affordable and affordable ...
  10. NOMADE
    NOMADE 25 September 2018 13: 00
    0
    + to the author!
    Thank you, a very interesting article, especially a photo with a booking. Impressed by the "hedgehog armor". Judging by the fact that these are Germans, they also tested this scheme experimentally.
    The machine itself, given the fact that this is a serial version, of course fly away!
  11. parma
    parma 25 September 2018 13: 16
    0
    By the way, what happened to the TH-495, that it did not begin to be adopted? About 5 years ago I read that it seems like she, too, should go into the series
  12. Narak-zempo
    Narak-zempo 25 September 2018 22: 30
    0
    The hinged armor will not help the Germans - as they burned in the forty-first, we will burn now.
  13. kplayer
    kplayer 27 September 2018 19: 08
    +1
    During development, the armor of the sides of the Puma hull changed several times ...

    ... and hereinafter.
    Quote: san4es

    ... Enhanced protection

    So what for is this outdated sketch for the original old 5-roller version of the BMP being sculpted everywhere and everywhere? If only they could compare the contents of this picture with photos and frames from the video of the current BMP for reliability (according to the principle of "find 10 differences").
  14. merkava-2bet
    merkava-2bet 27 September 2018 23: 16
    +2
    I do not want to offend the author, but there are a lot of inaccuracies in the article.
    First, the "hedgehog armor" is not rubber, but metal, steel or aluminum alloy, first of all it works for the premature detonation of the projectile and mines fuse, and for the first time the Germans installed it on their self-propelled guns, this armor was often confused and called dynamic, due to its size It is practically useless against cumulative projectiles, also against kinetics, there is no need to hope for a ricochet. This "hedgehog armor" was tested back in the USSR in 1950-1960s, this armor has a dependence on the length and thickness and material of the spikes, and it does not went, and the Germans put on the roof of their self-propelled guns with one goal in order to prevent a break in the armor from a mortar mine in Afghanistan causing it to detonate in front of the armor, I don't know which is better, an explosion inside or outside, with the same lethal effect.
    Regarding the composite armor AMAP-SC, which, I quote, with equal mass provides 8-10 times better protection against cumulative shells, fantastic, even two-layer DZ cannot provide such protection, but here composite, I don’t know what is added to it, can kryptonite and anabtanium.
    The armor of the BMP is written to be protected from 30 mm BOPS and attention-shock nucleus, tin. Taking into account the fact that today's cumulative ammunition of the Impact nucleus type breaks through freely 100 mm or more armor, and even from a distance of up to 100 meters, I’m wondering that all that 30 mm BOPS, in the terms of reference for Puma-2 there was a point about withstanding the hit of 125 mm shells, and here it is only 30 mm.
  15. merkava-2bet
    merkava-2bet 28 September 2018 00: 00
    0
    Quote: merkava-2bet
    I do not want to offend the author, but there are a lot of inaccuracies in the article.
    First, the "hedgehog armor" is not rubber, but metal, steel or aluminum alloy, first of all it works for the premature detonation of the projectile and mines fuse, and for the first time the Germans installed it on their self-propelled guns, this armor was often confused and called dynamic, due to its size It is practically useless against cumulative projectiles, also against kinetics, there is no need to hope for a ricochet. This "hedgehog armor" was tested back in the USSR in 1950-1960s, this armor has a dependence on the length and thickness and material of the spikes, and it does not went, and the Germans put on the roof of their self-propelled guns with one goal in order to prevent a break in the armor from a mortar mine in Afghanistan causing it to detonate in front of the armor, I don't know which is better, an explosion inside or outside, with the same lethal effect.
    Regarding the composite armor AMAP-SC, which, I quote, with equal mass provides 8-10 times better protection against cumulative shells, fantastic, even two-layer DZ cannot provide such protection, but here composite, I don’t know what is added to it, can kryptonite and anabtanium.
    The armor of the BMP is written to be protected from 30 mm BOPS and attention-shock nucleus, tin. Taking into account the fact that today's cumulative ammunition of the Impact nucleus type breaks through freely 100 mm or more armor, and even from a distance of up to 100 meters, I’m wondering that all that 30 mm BOPS, in the terms of reference for Puma-2 there was a point about withstanding the hit of 125 mm shells, and here it is only 30 mm.

    Instead of Puma-2, a mistake, Marder-2.
  16. fifteen
    fifteen 12 August 2019 10: 01
    0
    interesting comparison with Kurganets
    https://zen.yandex.ru/media/id/5d24f2acc31e4900ad349df5/kurganec25-protiv-pumy-sravnenie-bmp-5d4ff9bf0ce57b00aea5a6db