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BAE mulls CV90 for LAND 400 Phase 3

BAE Systems Australia’s contender for the Army’s new Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) may be the CV90, a widely used armoured vehicle in service in Sweden and other European nations.

But BAE Systems hasn’t officially decided if it will compete in Project LAND 400 Phase 3.

A spokeswoman said CV90 was a combat proven infantry fighting vehicle which featured the latest technology and innovation to help keep soldiers safe. 

“As always, we look to support the Commonwealth to protect and enable our military forces where we can offer value for money, high performance system solutions that meet their needs. We are assessing the RFT and will make a decision in due course,” she said.

BAE Systems lost out to Rheinmetall in the contest for LAND 400 Phase 2 for new Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles. Rheinmetall is regarded as a top contender for Phase 3.

Still, BAE Systems displayed a Norwegian Army CV90 IFV at LAND FORCES.

The vehicle on display at LAND FORCES was actually borrowed from the Norwegian Army.

“CV90 has been around since the 1990s. The first customer was Sweden then followed by Norway. Then the Finns came along and the Swiss came along, the Netherlands came along, the Danes bought it and the final customer is Estonia,”  said Jens Wagberg, BAE Systems Hagglunds vehicle architect.

A total  of 1,280 are in service. The largest user is the Swedish Army with more than 500. There are 15 different variants including the IFV, the most common.

In Swedish service CV90 is armed with a 30mm Bushmaster gun and Kongsberg remote weapons system. The IFV version weighs 35 tonnes.

The vehicle has a crew of three and room for eight dismounts. Power comes from a Scania V8 which features low fuel consumption and up to 900 kilometres range.

CV90 has seen active service with Swedish, Danish and Norwegian units in Afghanistan, with some hit by improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

There was one fatality when a CV90 was flipped over by a really big IED, a blast which would have upturned a main battle tank, Mr Wagberg said.

CV90 comes with one particularly useful feature, rubber tracks, though traditional steel tracks is an option. The entire Norwegian fleet has rubber tracks.

Rubber racks are much kinder to road surfaces and to vehicle occupants.

“It makes a huge difference on the machine itself, [reduces] strains on the sensors and the soldiers,” he said.

In Afghanistan one of the Norwegian vehicles was tried out with rubber tracks and proved a complete success, with crews overwhelmingly preferring rubber over steel.