While working on some background research for Fishbreath’s fourth challenge, I discovered two unfortunate things about the Puma IFV. First, while most information I can find claim that it will have the capability to mount and shoot Spike ATGMs, no evidence that this is actually proceeding is available. So we’d likely be stuck paying integration costs. Which brings me to the other, bigger problem: cost. The Puma IFV costs about $11 million or so, and is only in low rate initial production, so more changes could be forthcoming. They’ve already had to redo the suspension by adding a roadwheel and change the armor layout. This is over twice the cost of any competing vehicle.
Unfortunately, we’re already pushing one buy to the legislature of an overbudget supervehicle that we’re expecting to come down in costs. But the Puma doesn’t have the order backlog that the F-35 does, and asking for two from the Legislature is bound for trouble. So it is with heavy heart that we must change our pick of IFV to the CV9035. It does give us a much better gun, two more dismounts, and a proper coax gun for our troubles. Oh, and it’s widely adopted with costs well under control. Congratulations BAE-Hagglunds.
P.S. For those of you expecting a quick resolution to the fourth of Fishbreath’s challenges, you’re going to be disappointed. Finding pricing information is a pain for both of us.