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CCV Project


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Canadian Forces CCV Project  –  BAE CV90 Series  –  November 2009

The British Equivalent of the Close Combat Vehicle – FRES SV –
Sees a Demonstrator Model Produced & Main Gun Type Chosen

Update 14 Mar 2010: Although a FRES-UV purchase has been cancelled, the Specialist Vehicle continued  with General Dynamics being awarded a contract for the ASCOD 2. Similar to the CCV requirement, seven FRES-SV trial prototypes will start trials in 2013.

The British Army equivalant of DND's CCV project is the Future Rapid Effect System-Specialist Vehicle (FRES SV) program consisting of armed reconnaissance Scouts and closely-related support vehicles.  The Scouts will replace existing Scimitars. Like the CCV project,  there is sudden urgency behind FRES SV. [1] Unlike the CCV, this British program has produced a technology demonstrator –  the subject of  this  press release.  More importantly,  from a Canadian viewpoint,  FRES SV  has its main gun chosen.

That 'choice' of  FRES SV gun was dictated by another UK vehicle program –  WFLIP, the 'life extension' of  their  Warrior IFV.  Here, a direct parallel with CF projects can be seen. DND is also to 're-set' an IFV, the LAV III. Logic would suggest, as in the British example, that a choice of main gun upgrade be made for the LAV IIIs before embarking on the CCV project. But that was not done. For the CCV project itself, DND has merely announced to industry that it is open to either manned or remote-controlled turrets. [2]

The British choice caught attention because the system is radical  –  the CT40 uses telescoping ammunition that take up half the space of a conventional 40mm round. If the gamble on an untried system pays off,  it will have a double benefit for Britain. CTAI is a British/French joint venture [3]  and  FRES SV turrets will be built  in the UK.

Customer nation-produced turrets mated to Swedish-built CV90 hulls is a typical BAE Systems  work-share arrangement.  BAE has proposed a modified CV90 'platform' as a possibility for FRES SV. Such a hull would be shortened (with one fewer set of  road wheels) to better suit it to recce.

Such a highly-modified CV90 chassis would  likely be assembled in Britain,  increasing the amount of domestic industrial benefits. However, it also highlights a key difference between FRES SV and CCV. Unlike CCV, FRES SV is not an IFV (that is Warrior's role). FRES SV is a reconnaissance vehicle, a role DND hopes to fill with much lighter TAPV. This raises the question: if an ally is adapting an IFV design as a recce vehicle, why is DND shopping for a mine-resistant truck for recce instead of expanding its CCV order?

[1] The Times reports that "The MoD is ... fast-tracking its decision-making process to get the Future Rapid Effects Systems vehicles into production as quickly as possible."
[2] David Pugliese reports that the "CCV requirement is for a turret, in either a manned or unmanned configuration, [to be] protected to the same level as the vehicle chassis".
[3] CTAI (Case Telescoped Ammunition International) is a joint venture between BAE Systems and  Nexter. Upgraded Warriors have Manned Turret Integration Programme (MTIP2) turrets which share systems but otherwise differ from the turrets for FRES SV.

News Release


08 Sep 2009   Ref. 164/2009

LONDON, UK  –  BAE Systems has released the first images of  its new demonstrator vehicle for the Scout variant of  the multi-billion pound  UK  FRES SV ( Future Rapid Effect System – Specialist Vehicles competition.  The vehicle is based on a modified version of its highly-successful  CV90 chassis  with an all-new turret and cannon.

The UK-developed  turret will allow accurate firing on the move,  a first for a medium- calibre vehicle weapon system in British service, while the cannon [is chambered for]
a revolutionary new 40mm "cased telescoped" design from the BAE Systems / Nexter joint venture CTAI [CTA International]. This [gun] will give much greater punch than existing medium-calibre designs against armour, buildings and  dismounted troops.

BAE Systems has delivered  more than 1000  CV90 vehicles  to six nations,  with [over a] hundred more on order. It is currently in service in Afghanistan with Swedish and Norwegian forces, while Denmark will deploy [CV90s] there next year.  Through these programmes, taxpayers have seen real value for money, new jobs have been created in the customer nations and technology has been transferred successfully in each case.

Commenting on the vehicle system design, BAE Systems FRES SV Campaign Director Arne Berglund said:  "Each successive contract  has resulted  in  further development and CV90 is a mature, fully-digitised, very mobile, reliable  and  well-protected vehicle. It is ideally suited for the range of  variants required by the FRES SV programme."

  "The demonstrator vehicle has allowed us to integrate complex systems and gives
  confidence that we can meet the demanding UK Ministry of Defence timescales for
  the high-priority FRES SV programme. It incorporates technology and learning from
  our very successful MTIP2 turret programme which...culminated in a successful live
  firing demonstration ... from a moving Warrior vehicle against a moving target."

FRES SV consists of  three Blocks of  Reconnaissance vehicles, plus Medium Armour and Manoeuvre Support.  Up to 1300 [vehicles] could be required in total. [FRES SV] Recce Block 1,  which consists of  Scout,  Repair,  Recovery  and  Protected  Mobility variants, is the biggest and seen as the highest priority.

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