BAE Systems awarded life-extension contract for Swiss CV90 combat vehicles

According to a press release published on November 18, 2020,BAE Systems Hägglunds has received a contract from the Swiss Federal Office for Defense Procurement (armasuisse) for the life-extension of the Swiss Army’s CV9030, known as the “Schützenpanzer 2000.” The life-extension program of the CV9030 will keep the 186 vehicle fleet in service until 2040 and significantly improve the platform’s ability in certain areas.
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CV9030 Combat Vehicle known in the Swiss army as the Schützenpanzer 2000 (Picture source: BAE Systems)

The improvements are mainly based on previous obsolescence issues in the area of optical, electrical and electronic components. They also include the installation of Active Damping technology which reduces wear and tear, minimizes through-life repair costs, improves speed in terrain and ride comfort. A new improved electronics architecture will support adapting to future technology growth. The vehicles will also be fitted with a 360-degree surveillance system, increasing situational awareness, combat effectiveness, and survivability to enable safer route planning and more rapid targeting.

As part of the contract, BAE Systems Hägglunds, the original manufacturer of the CV90, has already been working closely with Swiss industry to meet the industrial cooperation requirements. The program will involve multiple suppliers based across all regions of Switzerland. Selected companies will produce items such as the next generation of electronic boxes for the CV90s, electrical cables, and mechanical components.

One of these suppliers is RUAG AG, which will provide a new auxiliary power unit in collaboration with BAE Systems. Through its role as the Material Competence Center (Materialkompetenzzentrum), RUAG is fully involved in securing Switzerland’s autonomy and operational readiness, increasing defense capabilities, self-sufficiency, and security of supply while preserving high-skilled jobs and in-country capability.

“We are truly proud to be awarded this life-extension contract by armasuisse. We look forward to further deepening the relationship with our Swiss customer and working together with the Army, as well as national and regional industry for many years to come,” said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, managing director of BAE Systems Hägglunds. “Together we are making sure this proven vehicle remains modern and capable through 2040 and beyond.”

This new contract is the result of effective cooperation between BAE Systems, armasuisse, and the Swiss Army. BAE Systems and the Swiss defense agencies cooperated on an initial obsolescence study, a prototype contract phase with extensive testing in both Switzerland and Sweden, and adaptations and preparations for serial delivery.

“This successful cooperation leaves us well-positioned to start the production and delivery phase of this life-extension program. We are looking forward to delivering a technologically future-proofed platform together with Swiss industry,” said Mattias Strandberg, regional director for BAE Systems Hägglunds.

Switzerland is one of seven European users operating the CV90. The other six are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands. With close to 1,300 vehicles in service in numerous variants, the vehicle is combat-proven and designed to accommodate future growth to meet evolving missions.

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Swiss Army CV9030 tracked armored IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle (Picture source Wikipedia)

The CV90 is a family of tracked armored vehicles that was designed to meet the specific operational requirements of the Swedish Army for a vehicle with improved armor, mobility and firepower for use by the armed forces' mechanized/armored units. It was jointly developed Alvis Hägglunds (previously Hägglunds Vehicle) and the now Bofors Defence under contract to the Swedish Defence Matériel Administration (the FMV). Alvis Hägglunds was acquired by BAE Systems in 2004 and became BAE Systems Land Systems (Weapons & Vehicles), now part of the BAE Systems Land & Armaments operating group.

The hull of the CV90 is of all-welded steel armor construction with the driver seated front left, the power pack to his right, the turret in the center and offset 200 mm to the left, and the troop compartment at the rear of the hull. The standard armor of the CV90 provides all-round protection against 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds. Armour protection over the frontal arc is classified, but all models from CV9040B and later are said to be protected against 30 mm APFSDS.

Some variants, including the CV9030N, can be fitted with MEXAS, a ceramic appliqué armor that provides protection against 30 mm APFSDS. This armor kit is intended to provide increased protection against Improvised explosive device, explosively formed penetrator and 30 mm caliber armor-piercing rounds.[8] All CV90s are fitted with a Spall liner, which covers the interior spaces and provides protection for the troops inside against shrapnel and anti-personnel artillery munitions.

The CV9030 is an IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) version featuring a two-man turret armed with one 30mm automatic cannon. This version of the CV90 is in service with Norway, Finland, and Switzerland. Switzerland purchased a total of 186 CV9030 Mk 2 in 2000 for $424,000,000 as a replacement for their M113. The vehicle is known as IFV 2000 and Grenadier Tank. Swiss Defence Company RUAG Land Systems Ltd assembled the complete turret, integrated the turret and chassis, and ran the full performance qualification.

The Swiss CV90 is fitted with a power-operated two-man turret armed with one 30mm Mk44 automatic cannon and one 7.62mm machine gun. The commander is seated on the left and the gunner on the right, with both crew members having a single-piece hatch cover that opens to the rear. The rear part of the vehicle can accommodate eight infantrymen. The infantry enters and leaves via a large door in the rear of the hull that opens to the right.

The CV90 is powered by Scania DI 14 diesel engine developing 550 hp coupled to Perkins Engines Company X-300-5N fully automatic with torque converter with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. The vehicle can reach a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 300 km.