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- the outdated combat beliefs of the 80's (still vigourous today) ;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 ?