Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has given the industry a tight window of opportunity to repair the failed Puma tank. "I'll give them a few weeks. Because I need reliable systems and not ones that I might be able to use sometime in 2025," the SPD politician told Deutschlandfunk on Wednesday.
Over the weekend it became known that all 18 of the tanks used during a firing exercise by the Bundeswehr for participation in the VJTF NATO intervention force had failed. The tracked vehicle, plagued by numerous technical problems, was only declared fit for combat last year.
The industry knows that this project has no future if it does not show the government a perspective, Lambrecht said. Everyone knows that the cougar is vulnerable. It cannot go on without the appropriate changes being made, Lambrecht said. Otherwise you have to look around for other systems, "and they exist".
Asked about criticism from the Union that the stress test was carried out too late in view of the planned use of the tank by January 1 for participation in the NATO intervention force, Lambrecht said it was scheduled exactly right. You had to know shortly before the deployment whether the martens or the pumas would be deployed. "That's why an exercise months earlier would not have helped us at all, because such exercises were very promising," explained Lambrecht.