The PUMA is the successor to the well-known German Marder series of combat vehicles and represents the most advanced IFV currently in service with the Bundeswehr. Soon, tankers will have the chance to take command of the PUMA as it arrives to the top ranks of the German ground forces tree as part of the next major update ‘Wind of Change’!
PUMA, light tank, Germany, rank VI
- Excellent mobility
- Punchy 30mm cannon
- Active protection system
Development on what would eventually become the Schützenpanzer PUMA project began in 1996 as a follow-up project on studies conducted by German engineers in order to find a common chassis for a variety of different tasks. Furthermore, the project followed a failed attempt to develop a straight successor to the existing Marder IFV as this was believed to be too costly and not effective enough.
By 2002, the project received the official designation ‘neuer Schützenpanzer’, making it clear that the successor to the aging Marder platform would in fact be a completely new design. Development of the vehicle was taken up by a consortium formed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Landsysteme, which subsequently received an order for five pre-production vehicles from the Bundeswehr in 2004. By December 2005, the first demonstrator had been assembled and handed over for testing.
After testing revealed that the design of the PUMA, as it became known by then, possessed several significant deficiencies, the prototypes were redesigned in order to address these concerns. The finalized version of the PUMA entered production and began being delivered to Bundeswehr units from April 2015. In August 2021, the final of the 350 PUMA IFVs ordered was delivered to Bundeswehr units. As of today, the PUMA is the most modern IFV in service with the German Bundeswehr, with plans already being formulated for upgrade packages throughout the 2020s.
In War Thunder, the PUMA will be a new light vehicle joining the top ranks of the German ground forces tree as part of the upcoming update ‘Wind of Change’. While bearing a familiar name to most seasoned German tankers, you can rest assured that this feline predator doesn’t come with outdated 1940s tech!
Being the successor to the popular Marder infantry fighting vehicle, which arrived to War Thunder in previous updates, the PUMA builds upon some general characteristics shared with its predecessor while combining them with certain upgrades. For example, PUMA’s primary armament is represented by the 30 mm Mk 30-2/ABM autocannon. Despite its lower rate of fire compared to the Marder’s 20 mm cannon, the PUMA’s gun is not only of higher caliber but is also capable of firing more advanced ammunition. As a result, the sub-caliber rounds make the PUMA deadlier when facing more heavily armored opponents, while access to timed fuze airburst shells allow the PUMA to pose a substantial threat to enemy helicopters even at a distance. Unlike the Marder however, tankers don’t get access to an ATGM launcher on the PUMA, thus limiting the latter’s effectiveness at long distance engagements.
However, what the PUMA might lack in offensive capabilities, it certainly does make up for in protection. Despite the PUMA still being a light combat vehicle, it’s equipped with reactive armor blocks fitted to the vehicle’s sides, in turn boosting its protection against chemical anti-tank munitions. Furthermore, PUMA’s ‘MUSS’ active protection system provides a protective sphere around the vehicle against incoming missiles. The system works in a similar fashion to the familiar ‘Shtora’ system found on the Soviet T-90A MBT. Namely, it blocks the guidance signal of incoming missiles, thus confusing the projectile and making it miss its mark. Contrary to the Soviet system however, tankers won’t need to point in the direction of the incoming threat however. Instead, the system is fully automatic and constantly surveys the 360 degrees of the vehicle’s surroundings. This handy feature will especially help shield the PUMA from ATGMs fired by helicopters, as this is typically their weapon of choice.
One aspect in which the PUMA truly excels is mobility. In fact, the PUMA is powered by a 1,088 horsepower diesel engine, giving the vehicle an excellent 25.3 hp/t power-to-weight ratio. As a result, not only can the PUMA reach a top speed of 70 km/h under ideal conditions, but it can also navigate even the harshest terrain types with relative ease. Using its excellent mobility to the full extent is recommended as the PUMA is a comparably large vehicle with a tall profile. Therefore avoiding enemy detection is of paramount importance to ensure the PUMA can deliver deadly blows to the hostile ranks!
The PUMA will be available to all War Thunder tankers after it arrives to rank VI of the German ground forces tree as part of the next major update. In the meantime, stay sharp as we continue releasing more news articles covering the exciting new additions awaiting you in the upcoming update ‘Wind of Change’. Good hunting, tankers!
You can greatly speed up the research on this vehicle with:
- Leopard A1A1 L/44 (Rank 6, Germany);
- 2000 Golden Eagles;
- Premium account for 15 days;