Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

The Puma S1 BMP has been upgraded with a new American UAV detector: hits targets beyond line of sight

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jul11,2024

The Puma S1 BMP has been upgraded with a new American UAV detector: it hits targets beyond line of sight

At the Eurosatory 2024 exhibition, the German company Projekt System & Management (PSM) introduced the Puma S1 infantry fighting vehicle (IPV) with a new UAV detector capable of detecting, classifying and localizing up to nine drones. Key upgrades and future developments of the Puma S1 currently in service with the German Army include a new anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system and the integration of several reconnaissance drone systems such as the Black Hornet Nano-UAV and the AR100-C micro UAV.

The Puma S1 demonstrated was equipped with an RF-300 UAV detector from the American company Dedrone, built into the turret next to the new MUSS Jammer Head, part of Hensoldt's MUSS 2.0. This UAV sensor is designed to passively detect, classify, and locate commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and their remote control signals. According to Dedrone, the sensor can automatically track and display UAV flight paths and pilot locations, providing information on hotspots of drone activity. During a demonstration for the Bundeswehr, the Puma S1 in this configuration detected a swarm of nine UAVs before the turret neutralized the threat, according to Mathias Kraus, Head of Sales at PSM.

The Puma infantry fighting vehicle was developed for the German Bundeswehr to replace the Marder 1A3 BMP, which had been in service for over 40 years. The project began in the early 2000s and was the result of a collaboration between Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, forming the PSM joint venture. The first Puma was delivered to the Bundeswehr on June 24, 2015. In order to maintain its functionality in today's combat, the Puma has undergone several upgrades, including to the S1 standard.

On June 28, 2021, BAAINBw awarded a €1.04 billion (US$1.23 billion) contract to PSM to upgrade 154 German Army Pumas to the status of an improved S1 design. The contract is scheduled to be completed by 2029 and includes an option to upgrade 143 more Pumas.

About the upgrade

The upgrade to the S1 standard includes several improvements. The integration of new missile capabilities, such as the Mehrrollenfähiges leichtes Lenkflugkörper-System (Multi-Target Light Missile System: MELLS, Bundeswehr designation for Spike-LR), allows the Puma to engage targets beyond line of sight at increased speed, a range of up to 5.5 kilometers Sensor-based assistance systems are being developed to automate routine processes, automatically distribute information, and support target allocation and video tracking. These systems will use sensor fusion techniques to correlate data from multiple sources, including video, audio, MUSS, and tactical situations, providing cognitive assistance and decision support.

Future features of the Puma S1 include a "Hunter-Killer-Killer" for close range support, offering flexible, independent operation under armor protection with a combat range of up to 400 meters. This system includes a fully stabilized weapon with 360-degree optics for day and night vision, a laser rangefinder and the ability to use both lethal and non-lethal ammunition. Non-lethal effects include options such as CS gas, flash and smoke, while the system is ready for mixed munitions.

Other upgrades include equipping the Puma with:

  • new digital radio equipment;
  • connecting the vehicle to the Infanterist der Zukunft system – Erweitertes System (Future Soldier – Expanded System, IdZ-ES);
  • high-resolution day and night vision camera systems for the driver and cavalry unit;
  • color optics for the gunner and commander.

About BMP

< p>The Puma S1 unmanned aerial vehicle is also being developed to support reconnaissance missions, serving as a platform for UAVs, allowing video and data transmission to the vehicle and controlling the UAV from armored protection. Various drone systems such as the Black Hornet Nano-UAV and the AR100-C Micro UAV are currently being tested for integration.

The Puma S1 provides protection against a variety of threats, including bombs, artillery pieces, cluster charges, kinetic energy projectiles, improvised explosive devices, mines and ICBM threats. The Multi-Functional Self-Defense System (MUSS) will provide active defense against guided missiles with 360-degree detection and countermeasures, including IR jammers and smoke grenade launchers. In addition, the Puma S1 is equipped with an acoustic sniper detection system with sensors integrated into the chassis and turret to provide data connectivity and support the sensor-to-gunner concept. Comparative testing of various systems is ongoing.

The Puma S1 has an unmanned turret equipped with a 30mm MK30-2/ABM autocannon capable of engaging a target at a distance of up to 3,000 meters with standard ammunition types such as APFSDS-T and KETF (Air Explosive Ordnance). In addition, this unmanned turret is also equipped with a 5.56mm MG4 machine gun, a turret-independent secondary weapon system effective against targets up to 1,000 meters away. The integration of the MELLS Spike LR anti-tank guided missile system will further expand its ability to engage main battle tanks, helicopters and other threats up to 4,000 meters away.

The vehicle's mobility is supported by a 10-cylinder 800kW diesel/multifuel engine , which provides a maximum speed of 70 km/h forward and 30 km/h in reverse. The chassis, equipped with a six-wheel suspension system, reduces noise and vibration, and its 450 mm ground clearance ensures performance in a variety of conditions.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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