CV90 for CF?
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
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
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,
suicide bombers – the demands on armoured vehicles
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.
third factor was laid out by General David Petraeus during a recent
visit to Alberta. 
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
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
of crew protection can be further enhanced with
'bolt-on' panels of
composite armour ( first used
on Sweden's UN CV90s). The energy-absorbing
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
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
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
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. 
 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.
 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.