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StuG III Thread (and also other German vehicles I guess)


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Lots of good stuff there, @SH_MM, which has helped join some dots for me. I appreciate you taking the time to write such a detailed post. 

Regarding the Australian Boxer purchase, the customer has differentiated between “Block 1” and “Block 2” deliveries. The first 25 vehicles to be delivered (two delivered to date) are the Block 1 standard, with an interim configuration Lance turret. The first turreted Block 1 vehicle is due to be delivered around September this year. The exact configuration of the Lance turret for the Block 2 is yet to be determined, & will likely be informed by the IFV phase of the project (L400-3). 

Tree strike is a thing in Australia. Generally the first thing added or beefed up on a vehicle in Australian service are brush guards or deflectors. The Block 1 Boxers are a good demonstration of this - look at the side stowage racks. Shaped & angled brush deflectors to protect the side stowage & the side situational awareness cameras from being scrubbed (ha!) off the side of the truck. 

The launcher on the Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA - trial) overhung the side of the vehicle (Boxer). On Puma, the launcher was inside the outer mould line of the vehicle. On Boxer, the overhang means that, with the turret at 12 o’clock, the launcher could be the first thing that hits a tree as the vehicle threads through wooded terrain. Anything that lowers the exposure of the launcher is worth serious configuration, especially with the launcher mounted on the opposite side of the vehicle To the driver. Compare that to Bradley. Lower profile launcher on the same side as the driver, so that it’s easier to avoid tree strike. 

Regarding damping and Spike-LR2, one issue identified has been the lifecycle of the missile. Currently, as soon as the missile is loaded into the launcher, it has to either be fired, or if at the conclusion of the activity it has not, it has to be repackaged and returned to the factory for refurbishment. The useable life of the missile in the launcher is sensitive information, but it is finite before being declared unserviceable. The longer a missile is carried in a launcher, the lower its pH. In live-fire exercises, this isn’t an issue. Unpack, load, aim, fire. But operational use is different. 

Improving damping takes many forms. Taking weight out of the launcher is one way. Either way, improving damping is intended to improve the service life of the missile once loaded into the launcher and retain a high pH (& probability of correct function). It’s my understanding that one of the design goals of the new launcher is to extend the useful life of Spike LR2. 

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On 7/3/2020 at 2:09 AM, SH_MM said:

Supacat RAMP

SupaSHOCK not SupaCAT :)  Constant problem getting these name typos.  Both involved with L400.  Key difference is that SupaSHOCk is 49% owned by Rheinmetall.


Per 2085662 - yep, tree strike is a thing.  Moving through Australian scrub involves constant contact with trees and branches of various sizes.  One of the reasons why the SAAB Barracuda stuff is a waste of money here.  It just gets ripped off and randomly scattered all over the bush.


Last I heard (Feb 2020), LANCE 2.0 does not have mission pods - its configured more like a conventional crewed turret.  The SPIKE launcher is inside the outer armoured shell of the complete turret.

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On 7/12/2020 at 10:25 PM, Sovngard said:

Reaching a protection level similar to the Leopard 1A1A1 ?


Yes, but why? I find this whole perforated plates experiment with Leopard and other stuff totally useless.


Rjpz was already immune vs 23-30mm, and already hopeless against anything bigger. With add on armor, the only weapon against this might have worked, is the D-56T of the PT-76.

For Leopard-1, the extra armor reduced vulnerability against 100mm APHE (according to german documents), but honestly, it was waaaaay too late. In 1974, even the 3BM8 APDS was being replaced by 3BM20 APFSDS. 1-2 years later production of the even more powerful 3BM25 began. 

Yes, some less well equipped WP armies retained BR-412B (like Hungary), but even these armies had access to 3BM8. 

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On 7/12/2020 at 11:25 PM, Sovngard said:


Reaching a protection level similar to the Leopard 1A1A1 ?

30+30mm ? at lower angle ? doubt 


1 hour ago, Zach9889 said:

Perhaps it was an effort in increasing protection against 152mm/155mm fragments at closer impact ranges?

30mm of base front is more than enough, side armour addons don't know how thick

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

KMW details new Boxer Leguan bridging module

This Drive Module doesn't have a visible exhaust. A3 feature?


Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) has developed an internally funded mission module for the ARTEC Boxer 8×8 Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV), which can rapidly launch and recover a Leguan 14 m or a Leguan-compatible 22 m bridge over wet and dry gaps.

The baseline Leguan bridge has been built in large numbers and can be launched from a variety of platforms, including the Leopard 1 or Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBTs) as well as other tracked and wheeled platforms.

According to KMW, by mid-2020 total sales of the Leguan bridge system amounted to 244 tracked systems, 45 wheeled, 483 bridges, and seven ferry and floating kits.

Gerhard Greifenegger, the company’s executive manager for Military Mobile Bridges, told Janes: “With the bridge Boxer and its unique rear launching concept, we realise a maximum bridge length, available on a highly protected and highly mobile platform.”

The new Leguan Boxer mission module is a direct replacement for the standard Boxer mission module, which is typically used in the armoured personnel carrier (APC) role with seats for 10 dismounts.

In this role, Boxer can transport and launch a one-piece 14 m Leguan bridge that can span up to a 13 m gap and handle military load class (MLC) 80, or MLC 100.


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So, according to ES&T, the Bundeswehr is losing patience with the Puma and are considering replacing the entire fleet if the operational readiness is not proven in the coming year.


As for what might replace it, BAE Systems Hägglunds should appreciate this part of the article:

“In briefings of the Army Command, the CV90 has so far been mentioned as an alternative and favorite. But the Lynx would certainly be a candidate as well, as it has the DNA of the puma and at the same time learned the lessons from the problems of the puma in the Bundeswehr.”


I remain unconvinced, however, that this is something that could actually happen. With 330+ vehicles already delivered, the Bundeswehr is almost certainly way too deep in the Puma project to get rid of them simply because they fail to meet a readiness goal in the coming year(s).


@SH_MM care to take a jab at this one?

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I think the aim is to put KMW under pressure. But it is very clear that Lynx/CV90 are no real options.


~400 Puma with ~10M€ each + development cost + spare parts means maybe around 5 billion € wasted with some more 3.5 to be spent for CV90s.


They will pay another billion to remove the most common child sicknesses and live with what is left.

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3 hours ago, Laser Shark said:


@SH_MM care to take a jab at this one?


It is a more controversial article. While ESuT publishes some very interesting and well written articles, sometimes they also rely on less accurate sources and rumors. E.g. the unit that supposedly complained about the lackluster reliability of the Puma doesn't actually operate it yet...


The Marder lifetime extension has been approved and - after new engines already have been ordered - the Bundestag approved the purchase and installation of new ATTICA-GM thermal imagers this week. While I personally wouldn't dislike a two systems solutions, the CV90 seems to be rather unsuited for the German Army based on several factors (it would hardly solve any of the Puma's real problems like the reduced carry capacity and restricted interior height and in ~2002 it was deemed impossible to modify the ASCOD's and CV90's designs in such a way that they could meet the protection criteria, which lead to the creation of the Puma IFV), but only act as an expensive shortcut to negate some of the teething problems. A new firmware is already being rolled out which is supposed to eliminate/limit the software issues.


The idea that the CV90 would be favored in Germany falls into the same category as ESuT announcing that the Wiesel 1 might be fitted with a 27 mm revolver gun or that LANCE turret already had been selected for the heavy fire support  variant of the Boxer - i.e. they are just speculations and indiviual opinions.

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@Laser Shark I am not sure about this article. Its true that there is a parallel effort with the Marder Upgrade and the Puma for the VJTF.
But the technical verification was already successful for the VJTF Puma.

LtCol Feilcke Head of Field tests at the Bureau for Army Development:
"Depending on the result of the verification of the AFV Puma VJTF, it was also decided to commission a second batch, which is to be introduced in a design level S1 from 2023. The inflow of the 2nd batch is coordinated with the planned, consolidated retrofit planning in order to keep the availability in the troops as constant as possible and to compensate for the commitment of the large equipment in the conversion measure S1."

I am quite confused with the difference of "Nachweisführung"/Verification and "Einsatzprüfung"/Field test and if it was already successful or if it is the "Einsatzprüfung" that needs to be successful.

There is positive feedback but also still some negative points, which i dont know in detail.
And the field test is still running.

On the CV90:
There was already a decision in 2019 between second batch of Pumas, Upgraded Marders and Boxers with 30mm Turrets:
"For the task-oriented features of the armored infantry troops with armored personnel carriers three possibilities of action were studied. Including the hiring of additional SPz Puma, another life extension including combat efficiency of Marder and the procurement of armored transport vehicle (GTK) Boxer fell into a SPz version. In addition to assessing the associated quantity structures, costs and expenses, the army has expressed the tactical-operational reasons for the procurement of additional SPz Puma. "

So again maybe things changed, maybe they are putting pressure on PSM, maybe someone wants another option they can quickly disregard.

On ESuT:
I would always judge depending on the Author.
There are alot of different ones. From Industry Marketing people to Heads of Departments in the Army itself.
So always look at the end of the page for who the Author actually is.

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1 hour ago, SH_MM said:


It is a more controversial article. While ESuT publishes some very interesting and well written articles, sometimes they also rely on less accurate sources and rumors. E.g. the unit that supposedly complained about the lackluster reliability of the Puma doesn't actually operate it yet...


The idea that the CV90 would be favored in Germany falls into the same category as ESuT announcing that the Wiesel 1 might be fitted with a 27 mm revolver gun or that LANCE turret already had been selected for the heavy fire support  variant of the Boxer - i.e. they are just speculations and indiviual opinions.

I think ESuT is probably right but is probably just reporting on the Options that are just there to be disregarded or just to have a comparison.

And yes there wasnt any news of 391 or 371 receiving Pumas compared to every other time when a Bataillon received Pumas.
Also it would be weird that a Bataillon would use two different IFVs simultaneusly. Just think about the space for all those IFVs and the training.

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33 minutes ago, Rico said:

Is there an puplic overview about the key issues?


To list a few of the problems connected to low availability for the Puma:


- Lack of purchasement of spare parts (with initial spare part kits for some units only bought this(!) year)

- Same thing applies to the special tools needed to maintain the vehicle

- Faulty software, leading to the crew having to reboot the entire system. 

- Different versions of certain parts and software being used for production vehicles

- Not enough trained maintenance personel who have been retrained to work on the Puma


The main issue of the entire program, which basically is the root for all these re-occuring problelms, is that the political side really pressed down on the price, resulting in a lower amount of vehicles, which raised prices even more.

This led to a huge cut in procurement and organisation on the logistics end to save costs in order to buy enough vehicles.

As we can all see this has backfired really badly.

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Well, that is basically what I have read and heared at different scources as well.

That is why I can't understand why Puma is around in the media everywhere because that are all customer failures (except software).

If almost all failure are on my side I wouldn't think about a replacement..

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