Exercises involving the Puma armored carrier were reportedly “a total failure”
A Puma armored infantry fighting vehicle in Munster, Germany, July 2022. © Axel Heimken / AFP
Germany’s Puma armored infantry fighting vehicles, which had been expected to join the NATO rapid-response force, have completely failed during training exercises, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday, citing a Bundeswehr internal document.
The publication cited a letter from Major General Ruprecht von Butler, commander of the 10th Armored Division, which said that all of the 18 vehicles that participated in the exercise had become inoperable. He described their performance as “a total failure.”
The electronics were said to have been prone to problems, while one vehicle experienced a fire in the driver’s compartment.
Von Butler reportedly wrote that the last two operational Pumas eventually broke down “after an hour and a half, with turret defects.”
The defects have “never occurred with such frequency,” the commanding general was quoted as saying. He added that the Puma’s performance “becomes a lottery, despite all necessary preparations,” which is “especially stressful for the troops.”