- "This light VZ tank sacrifices armor for good firepower and a lighter weight, making it easier to transport."
- — Stockpile caption
The Puma is primarily designed as a reconnaissance tank. Because of this, it is not heavily armed or armored. It is however very speedy and maneuverable compared to other tanks. It is the smallest tank in the game, and is especially common during the start of the game. Eventually the Venezuelans move up a level and start using the Jaguar MBT more often, its bigger and meaner brother.
The Puma is armed with a 90mm gun, a .50 caliber coaxial and a 12.7mm (.50 caliber) DShK Machine Gun on top of the turret with a 360º turning radius. As stated above, easy to find early on (although it becomes rarer as the VZ generally replace it with the Jaguar later on) and can be purchased from the Pirates for $75k when on friendly terms.
- Unlocked by: ?
- Cost: $?
- Fuel: 140 gallons
- Guidance: Smoke
- Delivery: Helicopter
The Puma's strength is in its mobility. The armor is very light, a crash will damage it, and it is vulnerable to RPGs and tank rounds. It can only withstand two direct hits from the former, but if the player can out maneuver their target(s) they may stand a chance, but when it comes to attacking the far more superior MBT's by the PLA and AN, they can manuver behind them and shoot the tank in the rear which will destroy the enemy tank with one shot. Be forewarned, the Puma in no way stacks up to heavy tanks in terms of firepower or armor, unless shot once in the rear were the armor is the weakest in any armored military vehicles. Limit its use to killing infantry, destroying light vehicles (preferably without Anti-Tank equipment), other light tanks demolishing light structures such as guard towers and enemy "spawn buildings."
The Puma light tank is very useful for smashing through lightly guarded enemy compounds and it will almost completely demolish enemy Outposts. While the Puma is less effective alone in tank-on-tank combat, two pumas can be a nuisance to even the heaviest tanks. The Puma is relatively powerful at the beginning of the game since its armor and speed is slightly better than the Cavalera and Mantis light tanks. However, the Mantis has more firepower.
The real life counterpart to the Puma light tank is a Venezuelan-produced, license-built FV101 Scorpion armored reconnaissance vehicle from the United Kingdom.
Seventy-eight Scorpion 90 FV-101s are currently in use in the Venezuelan military.
- After some preparation and the addition of flotation devices, the real-life version is amphibious and capable of 3.6 mph (water speed).