The Netherlands defense ministry has signed a contract with BAE Systems Hägglunds for the mid-life upgrade of 122 CV9035NL combat vehicles.
According to the Dutch defense procurement agency, the mid-life upgrade will equip the vehicle fleet with increased protection against current and future threats, including anti-tank missiles.
The vehicles are also receiving a new turret, whose position will be changed to provide better vehicle balance and enable new ways to introduce a variety of weaponry for increased lethality.
The enhanced turret design is based on a recent study conducted by the Royal Netherlands Army, and a BAE Systems’ analysis of cognitive load on Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) crews to address man-machine interaction. The result gives crews increased advantages, such as the ability to choose intuitive and effective modes of operation as well as shorten the time to detection, identification, decision-making, and engagement.
The latest agreement, which is worth $500 million according to BAE Systems, follows several upgrades rolled out for the Dutch CV90s. More recent ones include the addition of rubber tracks to improve crew endurance and running costs and reduce weight, and the installation of the Elbit Systems’ Iron Fist Active Protection System (APS) into its fleet. Iron Fist automatically detects, tracks and neutralizes incoming threats to protect the vehicle and its crew. Iron Fist is also being fielded on the Israeli Army’s Eitan armored fighting vehicles (AFV).
The Dutch Army is not the only one actively upgrading its CV90s. In November last year, the Swiss defense ministry contracted BAE Systems Hägglunds for the life extension of the Swiss Army’s CV9030, known as the “Schützenpanzer 2000.”
The Swedish Army took delivery of its milestone 100th upgraded CV90 in August 2020.
In addition to the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden, the CV90 is also in service Denmark, Estonia, Finland, and Norway.
The Netherlands ordered a total of 193 vehicles in 2004 and 2008 armed with a Bushmaster III 35/50 cannon. It later sold 44 units to Estonia.