Lieutenant General Alfons Mais, the chief of the German Army, has declared the Rheinmetall System Panzergrenadier system fit to fight. He also recommended equipping NATO’s spearhead formation, the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) 2023, which the Bundeswehr will be furnishing, with the new system. System Panzergrenadier consists of an upgraded version of the Puma, the infantry fighting vehicle made by the Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann joint venture PSM GmbH, and the VJTF2023 version of the Future Soldier – Expanded System (IdZ-ES) developed by Rheinmetall. Following extensive development and modification work, System Panzergrenadier underwent a three-week-long tactical evaluation at the Bergen major training area on the Lüneburg Heath in northern Germany in February 2021.

System Panzergrenadier will substantially enhance the fighting strength and combat effectiveness of the VJTF 2023. Equipped with System Panzergrenadier, this formation will, for the first time in Germany, bring together a digitised vehicle platform – the enhanced VJTF version of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle – and a soldier system equipped for digital radio communication.

System Panzergrenadier offers two key advantages: first, all soldiers, whether mounted or dismounted, can access the same information; and second, they are able to share this information with greater precision, more quickly and more robustly. The closely knit network of sensors and effectors belonging to the soldiers and their infantry fighting vehicle minimizes the time between target detection and target engagement. This blending of capabilities into a single overarching system enables more effective tactical interaction of the soldiers and their IFV, enhancing in turn the overall combat effectiveness of mechanized infantry units. A total of 40 VJTF-grade Puma infantry fighting vehicles will form part of the VJTF 2023 panoply of equipment.


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