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The Royal Netherlands Army’s (RNLA) fleet of CV90s armoured vehicles is to receive new turrets as part of a mid-life upgrade programme contracted to BAE Systems, the company announced on 14 January.

Valued at $500 million (€411 million), the contract calls for 122 vehicles to receive a comprehensive upgrade, aimed at significantly improving the vehicle’s capabilities, protection and ergonomics for increased combat effectiveness, and provides an option for a further 19 vehicles.

The new CV90 turret, developed by BAE Systems Hägglunds in Sweden, represents a leap forward in design and functionality. The main weapon position is changed to provide even better vehicle balance and enable new ways to introduce a variety of weaponry for increased lethality. It also offers significant ergonomic improvements to benefit the crew.

The enhanced turret design is built on years of combat-proven experience, continuous vehicle improvements, and data analysis from the CV90 USER Club – the seven current operators of the vehicle. The improvements are also based on a recent study conducted by the RNLA, 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.

This is an important step to make sure that our Infantry Fighting Vehicles and our Army are well prepared for many years to come. This mid-life upgrade will also result in a lowering of the vehicles’ lifetime cost, at the same time as keeping our soldiers safe in the face of new threats,” explained Col Norbert Moerkens, the RNLA’s head of strategy and plans.

Work is already underway to equip the Dutch CV9035 vehicles with several enhanced capabilities, such as an active protection systems and anti-tank missiles, as well as a new electro-optic aiming system (EOPS), which provides additional situational awareness. The latest upgrade also includes future-proofing the electronics by upgrading to a fourth-generation digital backbone, with embedded and more robust cybersecurity.

We are committed to delivering the most modern and adaptable IFVs to meet our customers’ requirements and [the] technological developments underway as part of this significant mid-life upgrade programme,” commented Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, Managing Director of BAE Systems Hägglunds

More than 20 Dutch companies are involved in the supply chain for the mid-life upgrade programme, to include delivering mechanical and electrical components to BAE Systems Hägglunds and the main subsystem suppliers, which will support the Dutch defence industrial base for many years to come.

There are about 1,300 CV90s of numerous variants in service with Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, as well as the Netherlands. The vehicle has a combat-proven track record and is designed to accommodate future growth to meet evolving missions.

An impression of a Dutch upgraded CV9035 sporting the new BAE Systems-developed turret. (Image: BAE Systems)

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