The first Dutch Army CV90 infantry fighting vehicle to undergo the mid-life upgrade (MLU) made its debut at the BAE Systems Hägglunds site in Örnsköldsviks, Sweden.
The vehicle is a prototype ‘first of type’ unit, which will serve as a test platform ahead of the start of serial production sometime by the end of 2023. The first vehicle will now undergo a series of tests to ensure the upgrade meets all the requirements.
A total of 122 CV90s will be upgraded under a $500 million contract with BAE Systems from January 2021. The entire MLU project is expected to be completed by the end of 2026.
The procedure will allow the vehicles to remain operationally relevant until the end of their service life in 2039. This means the the vehicles will receive a new turret to enable the integration of new weapons, as well as active protection systems for better defense against current and future threats, including anti-tank missiles.
The repositioning of the turret will give the crew more room to move and improve ergonomics in general. The IT systems are also being overhauled.
The MLU 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.
The Dutch Army is not the only one actively upgrading its CV90s. In November 2020, the Swiss defense ministry contracted BAE Systems Hägglunds for the life extension of the Swiss Army’s CV9030, known as the “Schützenpanzer 2000.” Finland signed up for the MLU of its CV90 fleet in July 2021.
In addition to the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden, the CV90 is also in service Denmark, Estonia, Finland, and Norway. The most recent customer includes Slovakia, which approved the purchase of 152 CV90 MkIV IFVs in June this year.