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New  Armour:
CV90 for CF?

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Armoured Vehicles  –  Sweden's  CV90 Family  –  DND  Procurement  –  July  2009

New  Armoured  Vehicles:  Denmark,  the Netherlands,  Norway,
even  the UN  chose Sweden's  CV90  family  –  for good reasons


CASR  Editor,  Dianne  DeMille,  presents  a  brief  overview  for  interested  citizens
News  Update:  During the night of  23  to  24  July  2009, Swedish  and  Finnish soldiers were involved  in a fierce firefight with Afghan insurgents west of Mazar-e-Sharif. Reinforcements, including a Swedish CV90, were sent to the combat site.  Two injured and three dead insurgents have been found.  At least one of  the ISAF injured was sent to the German camp at Marmal. [ www.defpro.com ]

Canadian  Forces  need  New  Vehicles  –  especially  if  the  Afghan  Mission  is  Extended

  On  08  July  2009,  Canadian  Defence  Minister,  Peter
  MacKay,  accompanied  by the Chief of  Land  Forces,
  Lt-Gen Andrew Leslie, announced that DND will soon
  be ordering a  new  armoured  vehicle.  This is partly a
  response to the significant  challenges  posed  by  the
  Afghan  mission.  It has been difficult  for  DND to get
  the  right  mix  of  capabilities.  Terrain,  climate,  IEDS,
  suicide bombers –  the demands on armoured vehicles
  are very complex,  life-threatening, and ever-changing.

Patrolling Afghanistan,  both  Mobility  and Survivability  of  Land  Vehicles  are Crucial

Two abstract words sum up the key requirements of  a new armoured vehicle for Canadian Land Forces:  mobility and survivability.  Often,  these two attributes are at odds with one another.  These  two  contradictory  demands  complicate  the  procurement  process.  The
third  factor  was laid out  by General  David  Petraeus during a recent visit  to Alberta.  [1]
The adversary  in Afghanistan is tenacious and a 'quick study'.  Whenever  NATO / ISAF
forces improve their weapons, vehicles, and tactics – the Taliban respond.  They alter their
own tactics  to avoid the areas where ISAF is strongest,  and  seek out new  vulnerabilities.


Thus,  it  is no surprise that any new armoured vehicles  must emphasize both  mobility and survivability.  Lt-Gen  Leslie  and  other commanders  have identified  the need  for a vehicle somewhere 'between' the LAV III and the Leopard 2 tanks already deployed in Afghanistan. The vehicle that fits the bill (in a number of  ways) is the CV90 , purchased  by  middle-sized NATO countries  which have been in Afghanistan,  such as Denmark  and  the Netherlands.

  The CV90 series is among  the best-protected of
  its class –  the Infantry Fighting Vehicle.  Levels
  of  crew protection can be further enhanced with
  'bolt-on' panels of  composite armour ( first used
  on Sweden's UN CV90s).  The energy-absorbing
  panels are the very same composite armour used
  on Canada's latest  Leopard 2A6M tanks. Those
  panels add protection  to the hull's bottom, front,
  upper sides, and suspension as well as the turret.

With survivability improved, CV90 mobility is ensured with a broad-tracked suspension. The object is to keep pace with the Leopard 2 tanks in rough, off-road conditions. To do that, the CV90s have almost twice the horsepower of  the LAV III  (up to 670hp for the CV9035's diesel V8 – a well-proven, commercial truck engine). The drive mechanics are also simpler. A CV90's automatic transmission powers two drive sprockets. ( Every LAV III wheel must be powered.)

To be effective on a battlefield,  the CV90 needs more than survivability and mobility.  It must be able to fight effectively.  The CV90's turret crew fight from semi-closed hatches –  providing 360° visibility while protected  by  the turret's armour and partly-raised, overhead hatch. Like the LAV III, the turret is armed with a cannon and coaxial machinegun. In all  CV90 variants, the main armament is larger than the LAV III's 25mm M242.

 The latest CV90 model  is the CV9035 Mk III as
 fielded by the Dutch and  Danes. Armed with a
 larger version of the LAV III's Bushmaster gun, the CV9035 cannon fires at the same rate  (about 200 rpm)  but its big 35mm shell carries much more high explosive  –  important when 'mouse-holing' a mud brick wall to let infantry through.

If the CV90 was chosen for Canada, the exact armament would be entirely within DND control. As part of its business plan, the vehicle-maker Hägglunds arranged  to have CV90 gun turrets built in the country buying the type. Hägglunds builds the CV90 chassis/hulls in Sweden and then ships them to its customers. On arrival,  locally-made turrets are integrated with the hulls.

BAE's  brochures  emphasize  Joint  Production  and  Industrial  Regional  Benefits  (IRBs)

BAE Systems, the multinational corporation, which now owns Hägglunds of Sweden, has teamed up with DEW Engineering,  now owned by the US company,  CoorsTek.  DEW Engineering has a manufacturing  plant in  Miramichi.  It is antici - pated that a DND order of the CV90 will  provide employment for technical workers in the DEW plant.

The BAE sales department is fully aware that  these IRBs, or 'economic offsets', are essential, especially for small to medium-sized countries, such as Denmark and  the Netherlands. These countries  have  defence budgets which are similar  to that of  Canada.  These countries also, like Canada, have citizens who are skeptical about fighting an ongoing counterinsurgency. [2]


[1] On  03  July  2009,  General  Petraeus  visited  Canada's  CDS  ( Chief of  Defence  Staff),
     General  Walter  Natynczyk.  Petraeus  was  invited  to  Alberta,  ostensibly  to witness
     the Calgary  Stampede.  However,  Alberta  is  also the home of  the  Princess  Patricia's
     Canadian  Light  Infantry  (PPCLI),  a  regiment  which  has  distinguished  itself  during
     the Afghan mission.  Wainwright  is the base  where CF  personnel  train  before  going
     overseas.  At  Suffield, armoured vehicles are tested against the blast of simulated IEDs.

[2] The January 2008 Manley Report suggested that Canadian Forces could not stay on in
     Afghanistan, unless more ISAF troops were deployed, especially to southern  Afghani-
     stan. Throughout 2009 and 2010, more troops  –  from the US,  Australia,  and  the UK  –
     will be arriving. This is not the time for Canadians to turn away from the Afghan mission.
     Canadians should,  instead,  renew our commitment  to the stabilization  of  Central Asia.

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