A confidential report analyzes why all 18 Puma armored personnel carriers deployed failed during a Bundeswehr exercise. Former defense minister Christine Lambrecht blamed the manufacturers. But now it is clear: The problem was with the troops.
It should be a good thing for Christine Lambrecht that she has already resigned as Minister of Defense. Because once a new confidential report had become known, she would probably no longer have been able to stay in office. After all, it was she who blamed the tank manufacturers when all 18 deployed Puma tanks failed after an exercise. At the time, she put pressure on the developers Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and gave them a tight window of time to repair the failed tanks.
“As a result, the lack of experience on the part of the operators in handling the device, deficits in the logistical support provided by the military repair forces and the lack of greater involvement of industrial teams” contributed to the fact that all 18 Puma tanks were no longer operational at the end of the exercise , says the report. It was written by the Ministry of Defense with the participation of industry and army maintenance.
The report lists 34 small and medium-sized damages, including an “incorrectly assembled main weapon”. And it is also about serious damage that could have easily been prevented: A smoldering fire was improperly extinguished with a powder extinguisher, so that the tank now has to be disassembled in parts to remove the extinguishing powder (FOCUS online reported).
But the report also contains relatively good news: In a few days, the first Puma company will be “technically ready for action again” and, after “completing an additional training phase”, will be reintegrated into the NATO troops in the first quarter. The first Puma company is intended for the NATO rapid reaction force A second company will be “supplied” as soon as all “spare parts” are available.