German lawmakers have approved the purchase of 50 Puma infantry fighting vehicles for 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion).
The budget committee in the German parliament’s lower house green-lit the defense ministry request last week with the option of further purchases, Bloomberg reported citing Defense Minister Boris Pistorius.
“The order will now be placed very quickly — and then we will continue and hope to be able to make a second order in the course of this year,” he said.
The vehicle’s second tranche could be of 179 vehicles costing an estimated 4.8 billion euros ($5.19 billion), AFP reported.
First Batch Expected Next Year
The vehicle’s first batch is expected to arrive next year, which will allow Berlin to transfer the older Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, Bloomberg wrote citing a government defense spokesman.
The purchase is part of the push to modernize the German armed forces triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Berlin last month awarded a 770-million euro ($844 million) contract to a Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann joint venture to upgrade 143 German Puma vehicles.
Germany currently has about 350 Pumas, which are expected to replace the 50-year-old fleet of Marder infantry fighting vehicles.