The Dutch Army announced on September 26 that its first modernized CV90 infantry fighting vehicle rolled out of the factory in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, at BAE Systems Hägglunds’ factory. This is the so-called ‘first of type’. Series production will follow based on the findings of this test version. This is expected to start at the end of 2023. A total of 122 CV90s will undergo a major modernization called midlife update (MLU).
BAE Systems Hägglunds reveals Dutch Army’s first upgraded CV9035NLSeries production of 122 infantry fighting vehicles is scheduled to commence at the end of 2023.
The MLU is needed to keep the vehicle operationally relevant until the end of its service life in 2039. The security situation has changed dramatically in recent years and potential enemies have become significantly stronger. The upgrade greatly increases the capabilities of the armored infantry vehicle. Various tests will follow with this first vehicle in the coming period to see whether it meets all the requirements. The project should be completed by the end of 2026.
90 units will receive an active protection system. This detects and disrupts incoming projectiles, such as modern types of rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), including tandem heat projectiles. The CV9035NL also gets the ATGM system (anti-tank guided missile) for Spike missiles. New means of observation will be introduced for the commander and gunner and thermal imaging for the driver.
The CV90 will be equipped with a future-proof IT infrastructure and an integrated battlefield management system with better detection and identification capabilities. To compensate for the higher weight due to the new systems, the 128 CV90s will receive lighter rubber tire tracks prior to the MLU.
In addition, the associated simulators are updated and measures are taken to bring maintenance structurally up to standard. After the signing, the production of 4 test vehicles started. The 1st series of production vehicles will be delivered in 2024, the last in 2026.
In addition, the Netherlands still has CV90s as a logistics reserve and as a training vehicle.
The CV9035NL has a Bushmaster III 35mm rapid-fire cannon, a 7.62mm MAG machine gun, and smoke and shrapnel grenade launchers. With a few minor adjustments, 50mm ammunition can also be shot. The gun can aim up to 37° up and 8° down and can therefore also fire at (anti-tank) helicopters. Special airburst ammunition is available for this, which bursts into 152 tungsten pellets just in front of the target. This ammunition is also effective against ground targets and has been specially adapted for this deployment at the request of the Dutch army. For example, enemy heavy tanks, whose armor is impenetrable, are eliminated by destroying their targeting equipment.
The other main ammo type is armor piercing. The old 35 mm shells/rounds from the German-made KMW Gepard (Cheetah) antiaircraft tank are also usable. The Netherlands still has large stocks of this. The effective range of the gun is 2 kilometers.
The 7.62mm FN MAG machine gun is coaxial, meaning it moves with the gun. Like the cannon, it can shoot down at an angle of 10°, but can be aimed up to 50°. This angle is especially increased for city battles. The weapon is located on the left side of the turret, with an ammunition supply of 460 rounds.
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