The Puma IFV is the UNN’s latest troop carrier, able to transport two Marine fireteams across rough terrain and through heavy enemy fire, all while providing formidable support to dismounted troops.
At nine meters long, the Puma is just a meter shy of the venerable Kodiak main battle tank, but its large size allows it to carry heavy ablative armor plating and a hydrogen turbine engine that gives its eight wheels considerable traction even in mud, sand, and regolith. The vehicle is able to be completely sealed to operate in low pressure environments and to protect the crew from biological and radiological threats, which also allows the Puma to ford rivers and other shallow bodies of water.
The Puma can carry one squad of twelve Marines in its troop bay (two fireteams of six), a pack of six Borealan auxiliaries, or a pair of Krell Linebreakers. Passengers dismount via a ramp at the rear of the vehicle which is protected by supplemental armor. The Puma is manned by a crew of three, which includes a driver, a navigator, and the operator of the remote turret.
The Puma’s remote turret is armed with a 30mm railgun similar to the one mounted on the Timberwolf, which is able to provide fire support for dismounted Marines, helping to suppress enemy forces and take down lightly armored vehicles. Supplementing this is a 40mm grenade launcher which can be used to flush enemies from cover or in an indirect fire role. Ammunition includes high explosive, airburst, and plasma rounds.
The most notable feature of the Puma is the deployable cover. Mounted on the prow of the vehicle is a ballistic shield that serves both as supplemental armor in its stowed position, and as a barrier to protect dismounted infantry in its deployed position. Coupled with the remote turret, a Puma can dig in and hold positions against superior enemy numbers, participating in crucial beachhead and blocking maneuvers. These tactics are especially effective against Betelgeusians, who tend to favor infantry wave attacks.
This concept art comes courtesy of artist and illustrator Simon Contreras.
Check out more of his work by following the link.