German Puma II Infantry Fighting Vehicle:

The Puma was originally developed for the German military at the start of the Twentieth-First Century. It was a bit heavier than most infantry fighting vehicles but quite well armored. It was developed relatively slowly with an eye for being modular. It was not until around Twenty-Ten that full scale production was started and around four hundred were produced between Twenty-Ten and Twenty-Twenty.

As being a quite new design, the German military cast around for solutions when the revolution in hyper-strong materials. The vehicle could be reinforced with new materials but that would be a temporary solution at best. This was done at first but the military kept the pressure on for a true replacement. The production lines were still intact so the obvious solution was to restart production but using the new alloys and composites in the design. This allowed the design to be produced for a fraction of what an all new design would cost, especially in development costs.

This design became known as the Puma II infantry fighting vehicle. Production was slow at first with most of the military budget concentrated on replacing old tanks with the new Leopard III. Approximately six hundred Puma II infantry fighting vehicles were produced eventually with production ending around Twenty-Forty-Five. Still, the vehicle was retained in reserve forces. With the use of advanced materials, the design was virtually immune to environmental factors. Most were in reserve forces when the Rifts devastated most of the world.

Even after the coming of the Rifts, the New German Republic operates these vehicles. They don't have the speed of many of the advanced hover tank designs but are still surprisingly capable. Being relatively simple designs, they are surprisingly easy to maintain. A number were abandoned in the early times after the Rifts and some of these ended up in the hands of mercenaries. These Puma are considered extremely valuable and effective designs. Some have been extensively modified in mercenary service although a surprising number are virtually unmodified.

When the Puma II was developed, efficient fusion power plants were still a couple of decades away. As such, a fuel cell system was installed instead replacing the original diesel engine. Top speed was improved from original with a top speed of around ninety kilometers per hour on roads although a bit slower off road. Range is also increased with a maximum range of around one thousand kilometers. Some individuals consider robot vehicle designs to be more mobile than tracked designs but this is not the case. As well, virtually all tracked designs are much more stable.

The Puma II is designed with add on armor. Without additional armor, the vehicle weighs around thirty-two metric tons, a bit heavier than the original Puma infantry fighting vehicle. With addition armor, this is increased by around twelve tons. In the original Puma, there was plans to develop a mid level of armor but this was dropped during development. While not quite the equal of a tank, with additional armor the Puma II is quite tough, much tougher than the advanced Bradley design used by the United States Military during the same time frame. Later, new materials were developed which further increased the ability of armored designs to withstand damage so even when carry less armor than the Puma were actually better protected. The vehicle was not fitted with full life support but does have protection against chemical, biological, and radiological attacks.

The vehicle is operated by a crew of three with an extremely advanced set of sensors and command and control equipment. The original Puma was fitted with state of the art equipment which was also used in later designs. In addition to the crew, the infantry fighting vehicle is designed to carry six troops. This is identical to the United States M2A7 Bradley. The main rear door can be opened partially so that troops can fire out while still having partial protection. Unlike most later infantry fighting vehicle designs, there are no provisions for recharging energy clips for troop's weapons.

For weaponry, the 30 mm autocannon was retained. Payload for main weapon is four hundred rounds. The original Puma mounted a 5.56 machine gun coaxial to the 30 mm mount. This was considered far too light and was first replaced by an 8 mm liquid propellant weapon. This was later upgraded in most models to an 8 mm light rail gun although some older vehicles did retain the original secondary weapon. Payload with the liquid propellant is fifteen hundred rounds and when upgraded to a rail gun, this is increased to two thousand rounds. There is a 76 mm grenade launcher with a total of six shots. Mounted on the back of the Puma II, this is mainly as a short range self defense weapon system. It works similar to a short range mortar system except that all six can be fired at one time if needed. Finally, the infantry fighting vehicle is armed with a four shot short range box launcher on each side of turret for a total of eight short range missiles. The vehicle is fitted with a firefly chaff and flare launchers for missile defense. These replaces the smoke generators.

Model Type: Krauss-Maffei Wegmann / Rheinmetall Landsysteme Puma II
Vehicle Type: Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Crew: Three (Driver, Gunner, and Commander).
Troop Carrying Capacity: Six soldiers in full gear

M.D.C. By Location:Puma II Vehicle:Armor Package:
30 mm MK30-2/ABM Autocannon (Turret):80
[1] 8 mm Liquid Propellant Gatling Gun (Coaxial - Early):25
[1] 8 mm Railgun (Coaxial - Upgrade):40
Short Range Missile Launchers (2, Sides of Turret):50 each
Weapon Turret:180+80
76 mm Grenade Launcher60
Firefly Chaff Launchers (2):25 each
[1] Headlights (2):10 each
Rear Hatch:120
Reinforced Crew Compartment:120+60
Reinforced Personnel Bay:120+60
[2] Main Body:360+120
[3] Tractor Treads (2):60 each

[1] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
[2] If all the M.D.C. of the main body is depleted, the vehicle is completely shut down and is unsalvageable. The main body of later tanks is constructed out of special materials.
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of a tread will immobilize the fighting vehicle until it is replaced. Replacing a tread will take 1D6x10 minutes by a trained crew (two replacements are carried on board) or three times as long by the inexperienced. Changing the tread is only advisable when the vehicle is not under attack.

Ground: 55.9 mph (90 kph) maximum road speed; 43.5 mph (70 kph) off-road. The vehicle is designed to traverse virtually all terrain and can climb at up to a 60% grade although at a much slower speed (About 10% of maximum road speed). It can also climb barriers and ford trenches. The vehicle can also handle side slopes of up to 30%.
Maximum Effective Range: 621.4 miles (1000 km)

Statistical Data:
Height: 10.17 feet (3.1 meters)
Width: 12.14 feet (3.7 meters) with additional armor
Length: 24.28 feet (7.4 meters)
Weight: 70,547.9 lbs (32,000 kg) loaded without additional armor and 97,003.4 lbs (44,000 kg) loaded with additional armor.
Power Source: Fuel Cell System
Cargo Capacity: Without troops, can carry up to 1.8 tons in troop compartment.
Black Market Cost: 2.2 million for a new or fully operational Puma II Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Increase cost by increase by 150,000 if equipped with rail guns instead of liquid propellant weapons.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Rheinmetall 30 mm MK30-2/ABM Auto Cannon: Mounted in a turret with a 360 degree rotation and can angle up to 85 degrees to target aircraft as well as ground targets. Primarily role is against ground targets. Controlled by a gunner. The 30 mm cannon fires heavy ramjet rounds with armor piercing warheads which inflict as much damage as most heavy rail guns. The ramjet rounds inflict great damage and can quicky punch through the front armor of a tank or the main armor of a giant robot.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,830 meters).
    Mega Damage: 2D6x10 for a burst of 20 rounds, 3D6 for each round.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the gunner's hand to hand attacks; each burst counts as one melee action.
    Payload: 400 round magazine (20 bursts.)
  2. Coaxial Mounted Weapon: Mounted beside the main gun and fires in the same direction as the main gun. This limits it to the same firing arcs as the 30 mm autocannon but since it uses the same targeting systems as the main cannon and is mounted very stable it is more accurate than its counterpart on top of the turret. +2 to strike due to better fire control.
    1. Heckler & Koch LPM-8-B Liquid Propellant Machine-gun: This weapon was designed when it was clear that the older 5.56 mm machine-gun design would be inadequate. In later models, this was replaced by a rail gun but many older models still retained this weapon. The weapon can fire all types of burst available to machine guns except extended bursts. The weapon uses a special liquid propellant which delivers about four times the force of nitro-cellulose propellant and the weapon fires an 8 mm round.
      Maximum Effective Range: 3,000 feet (914 meters)
      Single Shot (Costs 1 attack): 1D6
        Ten Round Burst on One Target (Costs 1 attack): 5D6
        Ten Round Burst on 1D4 Target (Costs 1 attack): 1D6
        Thirty Round Burst on One Target (Costs 1 attack): 1D6x10
        Thirty Round Burst on 1D8 Target (Costs 1 attack): 2D6
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner.
      Payload: 1500 rounds
    2. Heckler & Koch RLG-8G millimeter Rail-Gun: Replaces the liquid propellant machine-gun in later and upgraded models. Rail gun does not need to carry any propellant giving a higher ammunition capacity and has a longer range than the previous liquid propellant weapon.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,920 feet (1,500 meters)
      Mega Damage: Single shot does 2D4 and 20 round burst does 1D6x10
      Rate of Fire: Equal to combined hand to hand attacks of gunner; usually the commander.
      Payload: 2,000 rounds (80 bursts).
  3. 76 mm Grenade Launcher: Mounted on the back, launcher is mainly designed for close range defense of the Puma II. As such, range of launcher is limited and works much like a short range mortar. Has a 360 degree rotation. Weapon can fire single shot or can fire multiple rounds at one time. Fragmentation grenades are most commonly used although plasma is popular as well. Smoke and tear gas are commonly used for specialty role. For special projectiles, treat as an 81 mm mortar. See Battlefield Mortars for Rifts for more details.
    Maximum Effective Range: 1,390 feet (425 meters). Unlike mortars, weapon has no minimum range.
    Mega Damage: Damage is effective the same as an 81 mm mortar: Fragmentation 1D6x10, High Explosive 2D4x10, Armor Piercing 2D6x10, Plasma 2D6x10, and has a vast number of other type of rounds as well - including smoke and tear gas. See Battlefield Mortars for Rifts for more details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), four (4), or six (6) missiles.
    Payload: Six Grenades
  4. Light Missile Launcher (2): These weapons are mounted on each side of the turret. This weapon has a limited payload but is useful again other armored vehicles, reinforced bunkers, and as a defensive weapon against incoming missiles and slow moving aircraft. Short Range Missiles are usually a mixture of 50% Armor Piercing and 50% Plasma. Launchers can lock onto multiple targets at the same.
    Maximum Effective Range: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) missiles and can be used up to twice per melee.
    Payload: 4 short range missiles each for a total of 8 short range missiles.
  5. Firefly Chaff Launcher (2): Located on the sides of the turret they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. The launchers do this by launching both flares and active radar decoys. Chaff isn`t actually in use any more, but the name sticks around. The decoys and the flare rockets float down by parachute; Effects last for one minute (4 Melee rounds.)
    Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not operate on Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
    Range: Around tank only; Rough distance of 80 ft (24 m) around tank.
    Mega Damage: None
      01-35 - Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed..
      36-60 - Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      61-00 - No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
    Payload: 18 each for a total of 36. 36 reloads are carried, reloading takes five melees. IF you want to get out of the tank to do so.


Special Notes:

[ Altarain TM, Bandito Arms TM, Brodkil TM, Chipwell Armaments TM, Coalition States TM, Cyber-Knight TM, Federation of Magic TM, Free Quebec TM, Golden Age Weaponsmiths TM, Horune TM, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Kydian TM, Larsen’s Brigade TM, M.D.C. TM, Mechanoids TM, Mega-Damage TM, Megaversal Legion TM, Millennium Tree TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Naut’Yll, New Navy TM, New Sovietskiy TM, NGR TM, Nog Heng TM, Northern Gun TM, Phase World TM, Psyscape TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Shemarrian TM, Splugorth TM, Stormspire TM, Sunaj TM, Tolkeen TM, Triax TM, Wellington Industries TM, Wilk’s Laser Technologies TM, Xiticix TM, and Zaayr TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2009, Kitsune. All rights reserved.