LWI - Land Warfare

DSEI 2019: Dutch Army leads on CV90 Iron Fist integration

11th September 2019 - 09:00 GMT | by Beth Maundrill in London


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The Royal Netherlands Army is a step closer to equipping its CV90 IFV fleet with a new active protection systems (APS) following the completion of testing of the system this summer.

BAE Systems Hägglunds, the vehicle’s OEM, has been selected by the Royal Netherlands Army to integrate the Iron Fist APS from Elbit Systems onto the IFV.

Hägglunds was unable to confirm how many of the 184-strong fleet of CV90s would be equipped with the APS. On timing BAE Systems said that it had passed the system test this summer.

‘We have been testing with both different anti-tank rockets and missiles with a good outcome,’ Dan Lindell, director combat vehicles Hägglunds at BAE Systems Hägglunds told Shephard.

Since 2015 the Royal Netherlands Army has been working with BAE Systems Hägglunds to study the implementation of the Iron Fist APS onto the CV9035NL.

‘Over the last couple of years, we have done a thorough job in studying the integration and conducting system tests with the APS for the CV90 platform. We are now confident that it will provide the capability we need. The APS will give a significant combat advantage and will improve tactical operation,’ Joost Vernooij, project manager for CV90 with the Royal Netherlands Army said.

The first phase of testing evaluated the feasibility of five systems. The second phase focused on the inherent performance and high-level integration of the APS. With the first layer of soft-kill technology integrated onto the Royal Netherlands Army’s CV9035NL fleet, plans are underway to add the Iron Fist’s final layer.

Vernooij added that the Netherlands will continue the next phase of the mid-life upgrade programme for CV9035NL with focus on integration, human machine interfacing and performance optimisation.

Hägglunds was unable to confirm if other CV90 users were likely to integrate the APS onto their own vehicles, however Lindell said: ‘This is a significant technology step forward for the platform, but it’s also another example of how the user groups interacts for sharing development.

‘For the APS development the Dutch is in lead and other users follow closely. In other developments – for example rubber trucks with Norway in lead, mortar with Sweden in lead – we have different countries in lead and all users benefits.’

Indeed, BAE Systems Hägglunds began the delivery of the first Swedish 120mm CV90 Mjölner self-propelled mortar (SPM) to the Swedish Army this summer.

CV90 users currently include Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden. The CV90 user group set up is designed to allow development and system integration on one countries platform and then to allow others the opportunity to follow suit.

However, BAE Systems told Shephard no other testing had been carried out of the APS for other nations.

On whether the Iron Fist APS could be part of the company’s offering of the CV90 for both the Australian Army under it Land 400 Phase 3 effort and the Czech Republic the company said that it was unable to comment on future bids.

The Iron Fist technology automatically detects, tracks and neutralises incoming threats to protect the vehicle and its crew. In August 2019 the Iron Fist Light Decoupled system was selected by Israel’s MoD for integration on the new eight wheeled Eitan AFV and the D-9 Bulldozer vehicle. 

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