Categories
Modern Swedish Armor

CV90120

Swedish flagSweden (1998)
Light Tank, Prototype Numbers Built: Unknown

CV90120 testing
Testing field somewhere in Sweden (source: czweb.org;)

The CV90120 is a prototype light tank that has undergone continuous development since its first appearance in the summer of 1998 at the EUROSATORY defense exhibition in Paris. However, attempts to mount higher calibered guns on the CV90 can be traced back to 1993, when Hägglunds collaborated with GIAT to make the CV90105 TML, which was equipped with a GIAT Industries TML 105 turret. The initial development on the CV90120 was presumably started by Hägglunds AB and continued when Alvis Ltd. purchased the company in 1997. Development continued under the guise of BAE Systems, which acquired Alvis Ltd. in 2004, Hägglunds included.

Development

The reason behind the development of the CV90120 was to give Sweden an option to equip a lighter vehicle with the firepower of a main battle tank, equivalent to the Leopard 2/Strv 122s. Northern Sweden has very few roads and difficult terrain, both during summer and winter, and the CV90 had already been designed with these conditions in mind. This paved the way for the CV90120’s addition to the CV90 family, combining extreme mobility with extreme firepower, but at the cost of comparatively light armor.

The initial prototype of the CV90120 had a brand new welded turret to accommodate a large caliber tank gun. Externally, the chassis was completely identical to a normal CV90, retaining the same engine, suspension, and internal layout. However, it was modified to accommodate the increased weight of a larger turret, carrying a larger caliber gun. This prototype vehicle weighed around 20 tons.

The vehicle itself has had several iterations across development, stretching from 1998 to 2011. These are distinguished into 3 major forms, starting with the CV90120 Prototype, the CV90120-T marketed vehicle, and later, more complex variants like the CV90120 Ghost.

The prototype CV90120 undergoing field testing somewhere in Sweden (Source: RUAG)

Prototype Specifications

The CV90120 prototype was extremely light for its firepower, sitting at 20 tons when empty. The low mass came with several challenges. The most prominent was making such a light vehicle stable enough to handle the forces produced by the firing of a powerful gun. The 120 mm gun’s origins can be traced back to Switzerland, being a development that was made possible by using steel with increased strength. This also comes as a design challenge to the vehicle itself, as the recoil energy is transferred to the chassis.

The driver is placed in the lower left front of the chassis, alongside the engine. The turret has a complement of 3 crew members, consisting of a gunner, a commander, and a loader. The rear of the vehicle, which was originally used for carrying soldiers, has been turned into ammunition storage.

Firepower

The chosen gun was the CTG (Compact Tank Gun) 120/L50 smoothbore, a lightweight gun developed by RUAG Land Systems. It was light enough not to hinder the vehicle’s mobility and had low enough recoil force to avoid damaging the vehicle itself. It came with a bore evacuator and a muzzle brake. The gun was designed to accommodate all current and future NATO 120mm ammunition, which were considered more than sufficient to combat threats at that time. The vehicle’s elevation/depression was -8 degrees to +22 degrees. The muzzle velocity when firing the German-developed DM33 APFSDS shell was 1,680 m/s.

The new turret also featured a bustle mounted semi-automatic loader, allowing this light tank a rate of fire between 12 and 14 rounds per minute with an experienced crew. The ammunition is stored with a protective wall separating the crew from the autoloader in case of ammunition detonations or ‘cook-offs’. The semi-automatic loading device was capable of carrying 12 ready-rounds, while 33 rounds are stowed in the lower rear hull. The turret also featured 12 Galix Smoke grenade launchers.

The fire control system is a Saab UTAAS computerized Universal Sight and Fire Control System, accompanied by an Avimo DNGS Thermal Sight. These provided the gunner with a reliable way of hitting the targets with day and night optics and a laser rangefinder.

The prototype did not feature any lighter weaponry such as machine guns.

Protection

The vehicle is designed to have a minimally armored hull made of steel to accommodate externally mounted modular armor. These armor packs varied heavily, from composite materials to high hardness steel. The vehicle was developed to have applique and armor packs mounted externally, as testing revealed that add-on armor gave better protection per kilo compared to armor steel. However, unfortunately, the thickness of the base armor is unknown. No further information about the protection offered by the add-on armor packages is available.

Optics

The vehicle commander had access to an early version of the Saab Lemur Panoramic sight, which has appeared in multiple iterations over the years. It gave the vehicle commander access to laser rangefinding and the ability to operate in a ‘hunter-killer’ mode. The Lemur could also be used as a Remote Weapons Station to give the vehicle a machine gun.

This Lemur commander’s optics have appeared in multiple variations over its many years of development, in different modular compositions and technology levels as development progressed. It appeared on the first prototype and the updated CV90120-T.

The gunner’s sight provides the gunner with between x3 and x10 magnification. The driver’s view is almost 180 degrees.

Engine & Mobility

The CV90120’s engine was a Scania DI-16 800 horsepower diesel engine, giving the vehicle a maximum speed of 70 km/h on roads, and 40 km/h in reverse. It was designed with excellent mobility in mind, despite its reinforced chassis and newly designed turret. The engine was placed in the front right of the hull, and will also function as protection in the case of penetration from the front, much like the Israeli Merkava design. If needed, the engine could be uprated to accommodate higher horsepower demands, showing modularity similar to other aspects of the vehicle. The gearbox chosen was an Allison Perkins X-300-5 Automatic gearbox with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears.

The running gear has 7 paired road wheels per side, forward sprocket wheel, and rear idler wheel. The tracks were made of steel with rubber pads. The suspension is torsion bar based with rotary dampers and no return rollers. The vehicle’s range was 600 kilometers on a full tank. It could cross slopes with a 60% gradient and has a fording of 1.5 m. All of these characteristics have been designed due to the obstacles of the Scandinavian peninsula, where a vehicle might have to go from snowy mountains to muddy wet forests, as the northern terrain varies a lot and the infrastructure there is generally underdeveloped in large regions.

Other

The prototype also worked as a testbed for several different systems for passive protection, including a water-vapor dispensing system to clear out any thermal signature externally on the vehicle. By 2001, the vehicle had completed its initial development cycle and left the prototype phase.

CV90120-T

CV90120-T with thermal mesh
CV90120-T with Saab Barracuda Thermal Mesh and SLSS Commander’s Optics. Sweden (Source: Swedish Armor Historical Association.)

With BAE Systems purchasing up Alvis Ltd. in 2004, the development of the vehicle became even more ambitious than before, revealing the vastly modernized CV90120-T in 2007 to the international military market.

The CV90120-T was another developmental cycle for the CV90120 that focused more on the internals and alternative protection systems that replaced the necessity to put on external armor to counter threats. This was defined by a heavy emphasis on electronics and definable ‘soft-kill’ defense systems.

Internal Changes

The vehicle featured vastly more advanced electronics systems. These systems might be referred to as ‘soft-kill’, as they impact a crew’s capability of preventing the loss of the vehicle by warning the crew before a shot has even been fired. Among these qualities of life improvements, a large sensory system covering the vehicle’s turret stands for most of its electronic early warning system.

These sensors can detect lasers from hostile laser rangefinders and detect missiles heading to the vehicle’s position. The vehicle also features a top-attack radar, warning of high angle munitions that might be a danger for the vehicle. The vehicle also features an advanced Battle Management System for modern battlefield situations.

The vehicle also improved internally with the latest modularity and customization present for potential customers. The CV90120-T could use different types of CV90 chassis from 1998 to today. This means that, while initially, the weight of the prototype was 20 tonnes, the development of the chassis and its internals improved by each generation developed by Hägglunds. Today, the vehicle can reach weights of 40 tonnes without any repercussions on mobility.

CV90120-T firing
CV90120-T firing its L/50 Smoothbore (Source: Peter Lindström)

External changes

Externally, not much changed. The CV90120-T received a new type of bore evacuator for its 120 mm CTG L/50 and the prototype had externally mounted smoke launchers. These were removed when the smoke launchers were incorporated into the sides of the turret bustle, allowing less external clutter while improving external and internal space utilization efficiency. These smoke launchers featured Multi Spectral Aerosol grenades.

The Commander’s Optics were changed as well. It was an entirely new development from Saab, the Panoramic Low Signature Sight (PLSS) that had the unique feature of not changing its silhouette while being operated due to its spherical profile. The PLSS offered complex optics and extended the capabilities of the vehicle commander by giving him a hunter-killer option, effectively allowing him to slave the gun to his optics. The CV90120-T could also use later variations of the Lemur Remote Weapon Station instead of the PLSS, provided by Saab.

Later variants of the CV90120-T also received the newest BAE Rubber tracks to lower the overall weight of the vehicle.

Active Protection System

A new active protection system was also unveiled for implementation to the CV90120-T, the “AAC” Active Armor Concept. Developed by Åkers Styckebruk, it functions by firing a sensor-activated and directed high explosive charge towards projectiles to disrupt large-caliber ammunition impacts on the vehicle, acting as a last resort defense if all preceding systems have failed to protect the vehicle.

The CV90120-T has yet to be procured by any nation in the world, but it did face testing and trials in Poland in 2007, as the Polish Army was seeking to expand its military combat capacity. This led to the reveal of the PL-01 concept vehicle in 2013, based upon what they learned when trialing the CV90120-T.

CV90120 Ghost

CV90120 Ghost
CV90120 Ghost in Sweden (Source: Fighting-vehicles.com)

The CV90120 is still being developed to this day. In 2011, BAE Systems appeared at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exposition with the newly built CV90120 Ghost. This vehicle had a revolutionary new thermal cloak system called ‘ADAPTIVE’, an active thermal camouflage. It features a hexagonal system mounted to the sides of the chassis, that can modulate and control its own temperature via electronic programming to mask the chassis entirely, or to make different distinct shapes like cars or other environmental factors that would not be considered an enemy.

The vehicle also features some other new stealth-based changes based on protecting the vehicle against radar-detection as well, focusing harder on remaining undetected.

CV90120 thermal camouflage
Showing the capabilities of the ADAPTIVE thermal camouflage system. On the left, the system is turned off and the regular CV90 hull is well visible. On the right, with the system turned on, the heat signature mimics that of a civilian car. Source: baesystems.com.

Firepower

Due to RUAG ceasing all marketing and production of the previous CTG L/50 120 mm gun, a new gun was necessary. The choice came to an entirely new gun developed by the German company Rheinmetall. This was the Rh 120 LLR/47 (LLR – Light, Low Recoil) smoothbore cannon. This gun can be traced back to 2003 as a private development venture from Rheinmetall Weapons and Munitions, desiring a gun that could provide equivalent firepower to the current M1A2 and Leopard 2 tanks but with a lower weight. Its design can be considered a successful venture by performance, giving up to 44% less recoil as it fires.

The gun’s fume extractor and thermal shield have also had their shape modified to decrease the vehicle’s signature, allowing improved stealth.

The success of this lightweight 120 mm gun with equivalent performance to normal MBT guns is also attributed to the steel type used, which was developed to be used with the older Future Tank Main Armament (FTMA) program that aimed to design a 140 mm smoothbore gun for military usage.

As of the writing of this article, in June 2020, no countries are looking into trialing or buying the CV90120.

Summary and the future

Light tanks have always been a debatable topic, as most nations now deem them unnecessary. Hägglunds has attempted to prove that the concept is still viable, and it is possible to hit enemies with speed, firepower and elude retaliation with the appropriate ‘soft’ protection levels, but light physical armor. Adding more armor does not necessarily guarantee safety to a vehicle, whereas not being seen in the beginning might arguably be the ideal choice in a large number of battlefield situations.

The huge investments into the entire CV90120 line of development seems cemented into BAE Hägglunds dedication to making one of the most advanced light tanks of all-time, whereas other nations either struggle to make one, simply do not see the point in one, or can not find a balance when developing one.

Nevertheless, the CV90120 is still without any customers and is still being developed. With military doctrine and battlefield tactics evolving every year that passes, there might be a place for the future developments of the CV90120 on the battlefields of the future. BAE Systems will likely be ready for the day that happens.

The CV90120 prototype in a typical Swedish camouflage scheme. The 120 mm Compact Tank Gun can be seen to be quite large for the vehicle.
CV90120-T in a winter camouflage scheme. The new bore evacuator, the rear smoke grenade launchers, and optional side armor and side skirts are distinguishing features.
The latest CV90120 Ghost. The hexagons on the side are part of the ‘ADAPTIVE’ thermal camouflage system. The vehicle hull has a different shape in order to have a lower radar signature. The gun is now the new Rh 120 LLR/47.

CV90120 Specifications

Size Length: 8.3m (incl. gun) 6.6m (hull)
Width: 3.3m
Height: 2.8m (panoramic sight) 2.4 (turret roof)
Crew 4
Combat Weight Prototype – 21 Tons
Current Model – 35-40 Tons
Engine Scania DS 14 or 16 550-1200 hp V8 Diesel
Max Speed 70 km/h forward, 40 km/h reverse
Transmission Allison X-300-5 Automatic Gearbox
Armament RUAG CTG 120 L/50 or Rheinmetall LLR L/47
Ammunition Modern NATO compatible, 120mm

Sources

baesystems.com
ruag.com
RUAG Aerospace Defence Technology
Rheinmetall Defense
Swedish Armour Historical Society CV90 Photo Guide 2010
Tankograd CV90 International 8003 2010
IHS Jane’s Land Warfare Platforms: System Upgrades 2014-2015

Categories
Modern Norwegian Armor

Stormpanservogn CV9030N (CV90 in Norwegian Service)

Norwegian Tanks Norway (1996)
Infantry Fighting Vehicle – 144 in service

The CV90 is a Swedish-built Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) that was developed in the 1980s. In Swedish service, it mounts a 40 mm Bofors L/70 Autocannon that it still retains to this day. Its armor is capable of protecting against 20 mm autocannons at 500 m for the upper glacis. On the sides and rear, the armor is strong enough to withstand 14.5 mm heavy machine gun rounds, or shrapnel from explosives.

Norway was the first export customer for the CV90s, ordering 104 Mk.1 vehicles in a contract on the 21st April 1994. The first 4 production vehicles were delivered in 1996. Shortly afterwards, it received the designation of “Stormpanservogn CV9030N” (Assault Armored Vehicle).

Two Spv 9030Ns taking part in a training exercise in Eastern Norway. (Photo: forsvaret.no)

Norway’s Procurement

Starting in the mid-1980s, Norway, a country on the Scandinavian peninsula, began searching for a suitable replacement for their ageing family of NM-135 IFV’s. The importance of having an up-to-date mechanised task force was obvious, due to the Norwegian army’s lack of resources to procure heavier military armament. The NM-135 was considered to no longer be sufficient, being based upon the old American M113 APC. A large trial began in 1992, which featured several contenders for the contract. Norway, a NATO member, was approached by various western countries who wanted to present their vehicle for the trial.

Picture from the Norwegian IFV trials. (Photo: Ointres.se)

Competition Contenders

M2A2 Bradley (FMC)

The famous M2 Bradley from the United States, with its superior anti-tank capabilities, was one of the most prominent contenders. Equipped with a 25 mm Bushmaster Autocannon and TOW anti-tank missile launchers, it had the best anti-tank capabilities of all the contenders at the time of the trial. Unfortunately, it was not designed to deal with the deep snow and terrain that is prevalent in Norway, and therefore did not win the trial.

ASCOD (Santas Barbara Sistemas & Steyr-Daimler-Puch)

ASCOD, an acronym for Austrian-Spanish Cooperative Development, is an Infantry Fighting Vehicle designed and developed by Austria and Spain. The Norwegian IFV competition was the first time this vehicle was trialled, and it had too many errors to be successful in the competition. Due to it being very early in development, it suffered from maintenance issues and reliability problems through the entire competition and quickly fell out of favor with the military.

FV510 Warrior (GKN)

The heavily armored British-developed FV 510 Warrior was offered by the GKN. One of its most prominent features was its much heavier armor compared to all other contenders. Its main feature is an indigenous L21A1 30mm Rarden autocannon and a well-protected aluminum chassis.

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann IFV Prototype

The final contender was a light IFV prototype made by Krauss Maffei Wegmann from Germany. Not a lot is known about this prototype because it never entered production. It is commonly mistaken for the TH 495, and was referred to as Puma by KMW, not to be mistaken for the modern in-service Puma, as they are separate developments.

Rheinmetall Prototype IFV. (Photo: Krauss Maffei Wehrtechnik GmbH)

The Trials

The competition was extremely harsh and the vehicles had to undergo trials through the extreme Norwegian winters in order to see which performed best in the most difficult climates Norway had to offer. The CV90 was chosen due to its stellar performance in the cold climate, with the KMW IFV Prototype coming in second in the competition.

Criteria in the competition:

  • Crossing 80 m of swamp
  • Firing (Accuracy)
  • Firing at -15,+15,+30,+45 degrees
  • Deep Snow round 1
  • Deep snow round 2
  • Slalom
  • Circuit, 1.5 m snow, round 1
  • Circuit, 1.5 m snow, round 2
  • Circuit, 6-7 km long, medium terrain
  • Circuit, 4 km long, rough terrain
  • Slope, 1 m snow, round 1
  • Slope, 1 m snow, round 2
  • Slope, 1 m snow, round 3
  • 0.8 m Step
  • 15% Slope, ice
  • 17.5% Slope, ice
  • River, 1 m deep, 10m wide
  • River, 1.7 m deep, 10m wide
  • Cold start, -20 degrees Celsius
  • 370 km drive
  • Track change

The Norwegian Army finalized their order, and purchased the whole package on offer as specified in the features list below. The turrets were built to requested specifications by Kvaerner Eureka AS (a local Norwegian corporation) and the final assembly was done by a Norwegian subsidiary of Hägglunds AB, Hägglunds Moelv AS.

CV90 in participating in a training exercise in Northern Norway. (Photo: forsvaret.no)

Features of the CV9030N

The Norwegian CV9030N version differed from the Swedish Strf 9040 in several ways. The 40 mm L/70 Bofors Autocannon was replaced by an Mk.44 Bushmaster II 30 mm autocannon and hooked up to a UTAAS Ballistic & computerized FCS system. Appliqué steel was added to the lower glacis, turret front and sides. MEXAS Composite appliqué sets were purchased, and a hatch was included at the rear roof of the chassis. The engine was uprated from 550hp to 606hp to compensate for the heavier vehicle in order to maintain a similar level of mobility. Smoke grenade launchers were improved and turret storage boxes were mounted on both sides of the turret and the rear.

The Norwegian military was not interested in the 40 mm L/70 Bofors due to the lackluster ammo capacity and put operational value into greater consideration. Where a 40 mm projectile would do a good deal of damage, a 3 0mm could fulfill the same role against lighter vehicles and infantry, but with almost doubled ammo capacity. Thus, the L/70 Bofors 40 mm autocannon was dropped in favour of the 30 mm Mk.44 Bushmaster II. The Mk.44 Bushmaster was designed by Alliant Techsystems and has a maximum rate of fire of 200 rounds per minute, with a maximum range of 4 kilometers. Part of the Bushmaster family, the Mk.44 shares parts with the M242 Bushmaster mounted on the M2 Bradley. It offered a wide variety of accessible munitions and more recently, proximity fused ammunition, which is the most modern ammo to date. The Mk.44’s weight is 160 kg, and, while mounted on the CV90 Mk.1, the vehicle could carry 600 rounds.

The Norwegian Ministry of Defence saw the value of a proper fire control system despite the Swedish vehicle missing this important feature, and the Saab UTAAS Universal Fire control system was offered as a part of the full package. Getting a computerized fire control system was far superior to analogue, allowing the crew to fire more accurately and faster than usual. Its performance was sufficient for it to be directly included, without seeking out different ballistic computers. Its modularity was also praised and it is still a part of the CV90 fleet’s basic loadout.

The Norwegian MoD was not entirely satisfied with the basic protection that was provided with the CV9030 Mk.1, and opted for extra steel appliqué on the turret front and sides, chassis lower glacis and side armor. With the extra appliqué, the frontal protection was improved and was able to withstand 30 mm rounds, while the sides could handle 20 mm ones. This effectively gave it sufficient protection against what was at the time potential opposition from Soviet-era Infantry Fighting Vehicles.

CV9030N “Ragnarokk” deployed in Afghanistan. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

The engine was uprated to 606 horsepower from 550 horsepower in order to compensate for the loss in mobility due to the extra weight.

The MEXAS composite appliqué was also ordered as a part of the package in the case of different missions requiring different loadouts. MEXAS, a ceramic composite package, was very light, and was made to protect against handheld HEAT anti-tank weapons.

The majority of the vehicles were built as Infantry Fighting Vehicles, but a number were also made for Command Vehicle purposes. They were fitted with extra radios, computer stations and map boards in a modified troop compartment. Externally, the variants are practically indistinguishable.

Vehicle Layout

The CV9030 carries a standard complement of three crew members, consisting of the commander, gunner and driver. The commander’s station is in the left side of the turret, and features 6 periscopes which provide all-around visibility. The Commander also has access to the secondary weapon, a 7.62 mm machine gun built into the left side of the turret.

On the right side of the turret sits the gunner, who has access to the UTAAS Ballistic Computer, which features x8 magnification, thermal imaging channel, and an integrated laser rangefinder.

The driver’s station is situated in the lower left of the chassis, next to the engine. The driver’s hatch has three viewports giving fairly good vision to the front of the vehicle, and the central periscope can be replaced with a night vision system.

CV9030NF1

In 2002, the Norwegian state decided to modernize 17 CV9030N’s in order for them to be used in NATO global peacekeeper missions. By 2004, all 17 vehicles were modernized and redesignated CV9030NF1.

New components in the modernisation package included the “AMAP-M” Mine protection kit, the RVC-01 rearview Camera, an Air Conditioning Unit and Extra Storage Boxes.

Combat Service of the Norwegian CV90

The Norwegian Army has been actively deployed in Afghanistan for several years, with roles varying from training missions to armed deployment of combat vehicles and aircraft. The CV90 has been deployed previously on several occasions by other countries, but in 2007 the combat debut of the CV90 in Afghanistan took place.

CV9030’s during the active deployment in Afghanistan. The two foward vehicles are towing the last one, which appears to have lost a road wheel. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

In the Ghormach region of Afghanistan, coalition forces were engaged in Operation “Harekate Yolo”, which was an offensive operation to dislodge Taliban forces in three different provinces. The CV9030 Mk.1 was actively used in the operation by Norwegian forces and offered efficient fire support to ground troops of the coalition forces from ranges at which handheld anti-tank weapons could not be effective. The average engagement range during this conflict was around 2 kilometers for the very capable Bushmaster 30 mm autocannon. In a public statement, this gun had a confirmed 45-60 dead Taliban soldiers and many more wounded. Some estimates have mentioned figures as high as 200 wounded or dead insurgents, but the precise details of the engagements have remained a closed subject.

Northern Afghanistan’s Ghormach Region. (Source: Wikimedia)

For a vehicle untested in combat, its debut sparked a huge interest internationally due to its performance. Preceding the events in Afghanistan, only 4 countries had the CV90 in service, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Finland. Since 2005, it has been adopted into service by Denmark, Netherlands and Estonia.

The list of potential operators that have trialled or evaluated the vehicle is fairly long, but in no particular order the countries are The United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Poland, Lithuania, Croatia and the Czech Republic.

2015 Modernisation

In 2012, a new contract was approved for the modernization of the Norwegian CV90 fleet. 104 vehicles were to be modernized and the fleet expanded to 144 vehicles of various configurations. BAE Systems and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace collaborated on the modernization by employing the local Norwegian industry to finish the upgrade. The first vehicles were delivered by 2015 and the delivery of all the vehicles was finished in April 2019. The official international designation by BAE Systems for the modernization is CV9030 Mk.3b, as it is an improvement over the CV90 Mk.3

The new Norwegian CV90 Mk.3b family reveal. From left to right, these are the Engineering, Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Multipurpose, Recon and Command variants. (Photo: Tu.no)

The fleet consists of 16 engineering vehicles, 74 Infantry Fighting Vehicles, 21 recon vehicles, 15 command vehicles, with the remainder being multipurpose.

The upgrade was considerable, gutting the old vehicles and giving them a new armor type that has yet to be disclosed to the public. The MEXAS ceramic composite armor pack was replaced with its successor, the AMAP armor pack. The weaponry was retained but was improved with complex optics which included a coaxial camera and a Remote Weapon Station, or RWS. The steel tracks were replaced with rubber ones that had been intensively trialed in Afghanistan. It is the first military vehicle with a built-in recon drone, which allows each vehicle to have a forward recon element available in pressing situations in combat, without risking the vehicle or crew.

The recon variant has a Vingtaqs II Optical mast, which is customizable with different electro-optical sensors, thermal cameras and radar. It can be extended 6 meters into the air and has a range varying from 31 kilometers to 18 depending on the configuration. It also includes laser target designation capabilities. However, its modular nature allows it to be changed into whichever other variant is required by replacing the mission module.

Example view through the RWS with AWARE BMS. (Photo: Tu.no)

The command variant has a modern battle management systems that allow it to lead army details ranging from companies to brigades in size. The vehicles feed other vehicles that are connected to the Battle Management System with information fed by all combat elements, which is then processed into an Augmented Reality tag system through the vehicle’s optics, allowing crew commanders to make more informed decisions.

The AR system was developed by Augmenti Defence and was named “AWARE”. The system allows command vehicles to tag positions and what enemy forces consist of, while at the same time preventing friendly fire as allied vehicles all carry friendly tags. Another feature included in the new Mk.3b is the 360-degree camera system that covers all blind spots for the vehicles.

While the CV90 modernization has been very successful, it has not been without its faults. In 2019, reports were shared that detailed issues with the rubber tracks having a lower lifetime than promised, and that hydraulic oil leaks were common, due to a design flaw where a hydraulic pipe was welded wrongly. Teething issues are still being worked out.

Future Growth Potential

The CV90 in Norwegian service has been very successful on many levels and will continue in service into the future. To quote Army Chief Major General Odin Johannessen (57) of the Norwegian Military:

“The delivery of the CV90 will increase the army’s combat capability through its new and better sensor capacity, more effectors, better protection for the crews, good mobility and better command and control systems”. Furthermore he emphasized that the army (Norwegian Armed Forces) is very pleased with the CV90 and that they will keep pace with new technological developments, which involves small upgrades throughout the vehicle’s service life. The army is pleased with the new CV90 tank.”

With the recent announcement of the CV90 Mk.4 and its newer reverse-compatible components, there is much that can be improved upon in the Mk.3b, which includes the addition of Active Protection Systems, Anti-Tank missiles and an active dampening system for its suspension. Other upgrades include a larger engine, a new transmission and an unmanned turret.

CV90 Mk4 with a 50mm autocannon from Eurosatory 2018. (Photo: Milmag)


Spv CV9030N ‘Tore’, featuring Norway’s ‘Splinter’ Camouflage scheme.


Spv CV9030N in the Desert Camouflage of its Afghanistan deployment.

Illustrations produced by Tank Encyclopedia’s own David Bocquelet, modified by Bernard Baker

Specifications

Dimensions LxWxH 6.55 x 3.17 x 2.77 m
Weight 23.5 tonnes
Crew 3 (driver, gunner, commander) + 7 passengers
Powerpack Scania DSI14 8-cylinder Diesel engine giving 550 hp (404 kW) with a Perkins automatic 4+2 gearbox
Suspension Torsion bars
Maximum speed 70 km/h
Maximum range 320 km
Armament 30 mm Mk.44 Bushmaster II
7.62 mm ksp m/58C machine-gun
Galix grenade launchers
Total built 345 built

Sources

www.Forsvaret.no
www.ointres.se
www.baesystems.com
Carl Schulze, CV90 Swedish Infantry Combat Vehicle – History and Technology, Tankograd Publishing
Carl Schulze, CV90 International – In Service with Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Finland, Tankograd Publishing
Clemens Niesner, Norge – Hærens Styrker, Vehicles of the Modern Norwegian Land Forces, Tankograd Publishing
Offiserbladet Edition 1 February 2008