|Manufacturer:||Israeli Ordnance Corps Workshops|
|Product type:||Armoured Vehicles|
The Puma is a heavily armored engineer tracked armoured vehicle based to the chassis of the main battle tank Centurion. Engineering Corps of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) has used it since the early 1990s.
Some Pumas are equipped with the Carpet mine-clearing system. This consists of 20 rockets that the crew can fire singly or all together. The rockets contain a fuel-air explosive warhead which spreads a cloud of fuel fumes that are then detonated. The overpressure from the explosion destroys most mines. The Puma then advances behind a set of rollers that trigger any mines the fuel-air explosion did not destroy. There is also electronic equipment for detonating roadside bombs or jamming detonation signals.
- Puma ARV: recovery version, a crane is mounted at the rear side of the hull.
- Puma Thor/Droid: vehicle equipped with electronic warfare protection system Thor and Droid
- Puma RAM: armoured recovery vehicles bases to the chassis of the Puma standard version
- Puma second generation: the vehicle is equipped with add-on armour, reactif armour mounted to each side of the hull and wire cage against RPG rocket.
Armament consists of three 7.62mm machine guns are fitted. Two are mounted on simple pintle mounts and the third on a Rafael OWS. Three roof-mounted 60mm mortars are carried for use against infantry.
The Puma is based upon passive armour arrays applied to the glacis and other vulnerable points. Heavy special armour side skirts are standard, these safeguard the running gear. Additional protection is provided by Toga-style, perforated steel mesh around the storage panniers on the Puma's rear flanks. Recently extra armour has been fitted around the driver's station, on the right side of the glacis. As for many modern armoured vehicle, the Puma can be fitted with a wire cage armour, to protect the vehicle against firing of anti-tank rocket.
Israel is forming a fourth Combat Engineer Battalion that will specialize in dealing with roadside bombs, mines and booby traps. As part of this effort, Israel will also upgrade its Pumas. The army is adding new equipment for dealing with roadside bombs and is training the crews to deal the growing numbers of explosive devices Hamas has been seen using in Gaza.