CASR | Editorials &Opinions | OpEd CV90 | Background | BG CV90 | CV90 ModProp
CASR — Canadian American Strategic Review — Editorial
Armoured Vehicles – CV90 IFV as CCV? –
DND Procurement – July 2009
CCV Dismounts: Does Size Matter or is it What's Inside that Counts?
Questioning the CV90 series as the Close Combat Vehicle for Afghanistan
CASR recently backed the suggestion – by Canadian Forces
personnel and others – that Canada should lease or borrow a trial batch of CV9040 vehicles for use in
Afghanistan. The CV9040Cs in question are up-armoured versions of this formidable family of infantry
fighting vehicles. Much smaller numbers of similar – but differently armed – CV9035s have been bought
for the Danish Army. One of the Danish vehicles was on display at CANSEC, representing partners BAE
Systems and DEW Engineering for DND's CCV competition.
The issue has been raised – not least by Canadian Forces personnel with recent experience on armour in
Afghanistan – about the number of 'dismounts' (or infantry) carried by CV90 series IFVs. In theory, the complement for the existing CF LAV III and the CV9035 is
identical – crew of three (driver, gunner, and vehicle commander) plus seven infantry 'dismounts'
in the back. Probably the concerns are about space available for those seven dismounts. Fortunately, the Danes
have already addressed this. Their solution is two squads of three infantry along with one support
specialist. Excess personal equipment is left behind (or carried by a supply truck).
So why is this issue important? There are two reasons. The first is how the Danes approached the problem. Speed was
of the essence so the Danes adopted a standard approach for all their infantry groups regardless of vehicle type.
If the CCV is adopted, the Canadian Forces should probably follow this example quickly. The second is that, in a
pinch, CV9040s could be trialled with the full CF mechanized infantry group of seven soldiers –
albeit, light on individual gear and platoon weapons. This is critical if LGen Leslie's recent remarks
that the Canadian Army will no longer need an 'operational hiatus' does indeed suggest an extension to the
current CF mission to Afghanistan. Edited excerpts of Danish articles from Hæren and
 The CANSEC display CV9035 was not a standard Danish vehicle featuring, as it did, a BAE Systems Bofors
Lemur Remote Weapons System on its turret roof, among other non-issue kit.
A Lightweight Carrier for the Infantry (Letsværvægter til infanteriet)
MJ-R [Major af reserven] Torben Øllegaard Sørensen, Hæren
(18. Årgang Nr. 2, 2008)
In the Danish CV9035 DK, there is room for seven infantry dismounts in the rear. The soldiers sit with their boots in
suspended hangers. If their vehicle is hit by a mine or a roadside bomb, the soldier's feet will not transfer blast
effects to their bodies. When a mine or IED detonates, the CV9035's floor may be displaced by a few centimetres,
without the soldiers being harmed.
[ Below: Konstabel (PFC) Kristian Dreholm sits in the CV9035. The folding seats, suspended from the ceiling
to minimalize blast effects, appear to the same IBD seat as fitted to CF LAVs.]
The organization of Danish armoured infantry companies (panserinfanterikompagni ) has been changed for the IKK-
kompagni (IFV Company) in comparison with the old PMV kompagni (or Armoured Personnel Carrier Company). The
CV9035 IKK (infantericampkøretøj) has a group sergeant (or delingssergent ) assigned in
addition to the traditional officer. This officer – usually a First Lieutenant – acted as both a platoon
commander and as the vehicle commander. Roles are now interchangable between the group sergeant and officer.
Either can command the dismounts or vehicle.
If the platoon commander dismounts with his infantry groups, the group sergeant takes over as vehicle commander
of the CV9035 IKK. But, should the platoon commander officer decide to remain with the vehicle, the
group sergeant takes over the lead of the dismounted infantry.
In the familiar panserinfanterigruppe, infantry were responsible for both machinegun and the Carl
Gustav 84mm recoilless gun. That general-purpose machinegun has now been assigned to a manoeuvre-support
group – the Carl Gustav recoilless gun having been replaced by the IKK's 35mm automatic cannon.
The manoeuvre-support groups now also
handle the mortars.
Extra Equipment is kept on Support Trucks [ or Just Left Behind at the Command Post ]
The CV9035 IKK has less equipment storage space than the old M113 PMVs. Infantry aboard IKKs carry only one
day's kit. In practice, each individual soldier stows personal equipment in a pocket behind his seat. All sleeping
bags and cots are stowed in boxes on the outside of the turret. Other surplus equipment and weapons are left in
containers back at the command post.
Infantry Dismounts: Size Isn't Crucial (Størrelsen er ikke afgørende)
New Danish Infantry Group
Size Tested with Success in Afghanistan
Anders V. Fridberg, Danish Military Media Centre, Forsvaret (6. Årgang Nr. 2,
The Danish Army's new Infantry Fighting Vehicle only has room for Seven Infantrymen
Is six, eight, or twelve the correct number soldiers for an infantry group? If the units of other
countries are examined, there seems to be many answers. Kaptajn Asbjørn Paulsen of Hærens Kampskole
(Danish Army Combat School) received his answer along with instructions to test new infantry groups in the summer
of 2007. This order recommended six infanteers per group.
Kaptajn Paulsen's orders sprang from the introduction of new Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV,
infantericampkøretøj, or IKK), the CV9035. Denmark bought 45 of these vehicles which are to be ready for
deployment in 2010. With its 35mm cannon, the CV9035 IKK can support soldiers on the ground better than other
vehicles. But, besides the driver, gunner, and commander, the CV9035 IKK only has space for seven soldiers in the
back. The seven seats are for an infantry group of six dismounts and one other soldier from the so-called division
Nothing Won With Eight [ Six vs Eight Dismounts and Danish Experiences in Afghanistan ]
Reduced to six soldiers, a group of infantry engaging an enemy gives away some of its weight of fire compared with
the original group of eight. But, whether there are six or eight soldiers in an infantry group does not limit that
group's effectiveness on the battlefield in the way it once would have. The task of infantry in the present Danish
army isn't to neutralize the enemy with the infantry group's own weapons. Rather, that group is to find the enemy,
engage them, hold them down, and to direct fire on that position from different platforms (eg: artillery or
aircraft). According to Kaptajn Paulsen, international investigations have shown that group size is not
crucial. This conclusion was reinforced by the first Danish experience with six-person groups.
Premierløjtnant [ First Lt or PL ] Mads Mikkelsen was platoon commander of a company in
Helmand from August 2007 to February 2008. Although often embroiled in heavy fighting,
Mikkelsen concluded "I cannot see that I'd have won something by having eight men in my
of six ... I haven't felt a need for the two extra men in order to win the battle".
Dynamisk kamp [Dynamic Combat: Two Teams Support and Communicate with Each Other]
In the old Danish eight-man group, soldiers operated in pairs to operate the machinegun and the [ M/65 Carl
Gustav ] recoilless gun. When KN Paulsen organized the new group of six, he eliminated both the pairs
principle and the two heavy weapons which dictated the pairings. In the new, six-person groups, soldiers are
arranged in two teams of three. A Group Leader (gruppeføreren) commands one trio, Rifleman (geværskytte)
1 leads the other.
Kaptajn Paulsen's idea was that the two teams can offer cover and provide situational reports to each other.
As a result, combat operations are more dynamic and liquid. PL Mikkelsen has not resisted the new group
of six concept. He has been satisfied that nothing critical has been given up with this new arrangement. From his
perspective, there are advantages to the smaller group. An officer can better understand six individual soldiers.
And, compared with operating in pairs, a leader of a trio of infantry has more chances to reconnoiter and to
find his bearings.
"That has given us an increased speed of movement and manoeuvre", states PL Mikkelsen,
"For me, what
speaks most clearly in favour of these new six-soldier infantry groups, is that
my two experienced
group leaders say that they prefer it to the group with eight soldiers."
But Can We Tolerate Losses ? [ Six Means Fewer Helping Hands when a Soldier is Down ]
According to both KN Paulsen and PL Mikkelsen, the immediate drawback to a smaller group size appears when
somebody in the group is wounded, then has to be treated and evacuated. If one soldier is wounded, the whole
group could be out of the fight. To avoid that situation in Helmand Province, Mikkelsen brought
along extra medics. PL Mikkelsen also considered the six-person group to be vulnerably small when his
soldiers had to search Afghan houses.
"When searching houses, we lacked manpower. That meant we needed to insert two groups
infantry whereas, before, we might have made do with one group of eight", he says.
Only Room for One [ A Standardized Infantry Group Size Regardless of the Vehicle Type
The new groups of six are not only used in the CV9035 IKK companies. The PMV [ M113 G3, the Danish equivalent
to the CF's M113 TLAVs ] armoured personnel carriers)
[a LAV III type] also now have to operate in groups of six. That is due to a wish
for flexibility between units. But the major issue is making the training of the soldiers as simple as
"To avoid making training unnecessarily complex – not least for the Sergeant Schools –
decided against having two different organizational styles for infantry groups. We simply do
not have enough room for multiple infantry group sizes in our little army", Paulsen states.
CASR | Editorials &Opinions | OpEd CV90 | Background | BG CV90 | CV90 ModProp