The Armored Combat Vehicle Puma started as a privat-venture betwen Krauss-Maffei and Diehl in 1983. The two first prototypes were ready first in spring 1986 with a Kuka 20mm two men turret and second in autumn with a Diehl 120mm mortar turret.
ACV-Puma was intented as an export armored vehicle of the 16-28 t class.
By 1983 original concept, it was offered with two engine options (400/600hp) to cope with the level of armor protection asked.
The running gear was a mixt of both Leopard-1 and 2 components :
- Leo-1 : road wheels, track support rollers, torsion bars and even the driver's seat ;
- Leo-2 : track adjuster, cooling system components and sproket hub.
It was possible to run the engine outside of its compartment.
In 1988, the concept was improved further :
- the class range reached 38t ;
- the engines offer was 440 or 750hp strong ;
- the chassis was now available in two length (5/6 road wheels) and hight/low profil hull (20cm).
The ACV-Puma was a contender at the Norwegian IFV programme from 1991 and the Turkish 1987 relaunched TIFV programme.
Norway chose CV-90 and Turkey, the AIFV.
(If anyone have information about how it was a serious contender, I'm interested)
It was also evaluated by the Swiss army in 1991. I don't know if it took part to the Char de grenadiers 2000 programme.
In 1983´s concept, the difference betwen the low profil hull and the 20cm higher hight profil hull was obtained by a "box shape vertical raised" rear compartment. With the 1988's design, the front slop is now different to achieve a better ballistic protection.
When considering documentations of this period, it's important to note the mine/IED protection was not a priority like today.
I'll post soon a scan showing general layout of the troop compartment. It's a Marder/BMP old fashion one with soldiers facing outside.
Even if it was not a success at exportation, I think ACV-Puma must be known because of both :
- the outdated combat beliefs of the 80's (still vigourous today) ;
- and advanced proposal such as the differential hull length from the drawing board.
I have a question :
Does anyone known if a 6 road wheels chassis was ever built ?
Let us open a topic dedicated to the Optionally maned fighting vehicle.
What we know now is that we don’t know so much.
What is sure, the US Army :
- wants 9 men strong dismounted section ;
- doesn’t want to continue to share an IFV between two sections when mounted ;
- is awared that it’s complicated to fight with an IFV carrying a 9 men section.
Platforms showed available at AUSA 2018 were :
Griffin III from General Dynamic
CV90 from BAE
Lynx from Rheinmetall
Maybe a proposal from SAIC ?
My point here is the following : I have the strange feeling that there’s a misunderstanding.
During last years, US Army spend lots of money to study new manufacturing process, new designs... and today, when we are looking at news, all we see is old concept.
The Lynx is optimized to be a cost effective platform with proven components. But what is its upgrading capability to stay in services until 2070 ?
CV90 is very good but it got limitations too. It need a deep reworked of its hull.
The Griffin was introduced as the response to the Army call but in fact there’s no other tracked other platform in the GD catalog.
I may be wrong but I can’t see any real disruption.
What about monolithic forged hull ?
What about decoupled running gear ?
Are torsion bars still a solution for suspensions ?
I think, this is the very beginning of the story but it’s very strange.