True Norsk: CV90 Armored ModernizationJun 24, 2012 18:58 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
In June 2012, Norway began a NOK 10 billion/ $1.68 billion program to upgrade and build CV90 tracked armored vehicles, and field unmanned air and ground vehicles, as part of the Army’s largest military modernization program since the Cold War. When the initial contract is done, Norway’s 103-vehicle CV90-30 fleet, which has served since the mid-1990s will become 146 vehicles serving with the Telemark and Armoured battalions: 74 modernized Infantry Fighting Vehicles, plus 21 reconnaissance, 16 multi-role (mortar carrier or cargo), 15 command & control, 16 engineering vehicles, and 4 driver training models. Delivery is expected between 2015-2017.
The upgraded vehicles will incorporate lessons learned from Norwegian operations in Afghanistan, and new internal and external technologies from Norway’s Kongsberg…
Contracts & Key Events
June 21/12: Contracts. Norway signs the contract with BAE Systems, who will up-armor the vehicles for improved protection against weapons and mine blasts, add rubber band tracks, create special variants like the modern CV90 Reece vehicle with its new sensor systems, and improve the vehicles’ surveillance and communication capabilities. BAE describes the contract as GBP 500 million/ $750 million, but Norway describes it as a NOK 6 billion/ $1 billion contract, including a “substantial” financial buffer. The Norwegian firm Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace leads a team of sub-contractors that includes Thales Norway and Vinghøg. The Kongsberg team is responsible for the “Integrated Combat Solution.” It includes integration of weapon systems, sensors, and communication and security systems that extend to dismounted troops.
The program’s exact structure isn’t clear from the releases, but talking to the participants revealed that about 100 new CV90 chassis will be built. Some existing chassis will be retired, while the existing turrets will be removed for upgrades. Once that’s done, they’ll be fitted back into to new or refurbished hulls, except for variants like the multi-role that don’t use turrets. This process will push total CV90 deliveries over 1,200, including vehicles for Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, and Switzerland.
The Kongsberg Protector remote weapon station will be fitted to all Norwegian variants, allowing the crew to conduct surveillance and fire all of the IFV’s weapons from inside the vehicle. The RWS systems will be delivered through the Protector “Nordic” contract, which kicked off in December 2011 and will also equip vehicles like Sweden & Norway’s new Archer mobile artillery systems. Beyond these “government-furnished equipment” orders for Protector RWS kits, the Army modernization program’s other NOK 4 billion will also buy communication systems, companion UAVs & ground robots for the Army, spare parts, and training. Norwegian MoD | BAE Systems | Kongsberg.
June 14/12: Norway’s Storting (parliament) approves a significant increase in defense spending, with the F-35 fighter purchase playing a central role. The country will also be making investments in modernizing and adding CV90 tracked armored vehicles, and purchasing UAVs.
Overall, Norway will see a budget increase of 7% by 2016. Monies spent of the Afghan deployment will be continued and redirected, while “significant” supplementary funds will be added for the F-35 purchase. Source.
April 4/12: Norwegian Ministry of Defence:
“The Norwegian government today presented a bill (Prop. 93 S (2011-2012)) concerning the new and modified CV90 fighting vehicles for the Norwegian Army… two of Norway’s primary units, the Telemark Battalion and the Armoured Battalion will receive new and upgraded vehicles to cover shortfalls in their current inventories of medium armoured vehicles. The bill calls for modifications to existing CV90 vehicles to accommodate new roles and systems, including added mine protection, improved C4ISR integration, rubber band tracks and Remote Weapon Stations for self defence. In addition, Norway will procure additional CV90 hulls from BAE Systems which will bring the total Norwegian inventory to 146 CV90s in different configurations.
In addition, the project will include procurement of unmanned aerial and ground vehicles, remote ground sensors and C4ISR systems.
Total value of the overall project is estimated at just under NOK 10 billion (USD 1.74 billion). Deliveries are expected to commence already in 2013, and to be completed by 2018.”
Feb 10/11: Afghan experiences. Work on Canada’s CCV competition has spinoff effects in Norway, and Afghanistan. Soucy International in Quebec makes armored vehicle tracks whose pads are rubber, instead of standard all-steel tracks. BAE Systems has already worked with Soucy to outfit M113 and BvS10 APCs, and both types have been deployed to Afghanistan. Now Norway has built on work BAE had done to prepare its Canadian CCV bid, and extended those track replacement efforts from its deployed M113s to the much heavier (28t) CV90.
BAE Systems qualified the system in full-scale trials, and determined that track life should be comparable to steel tracks. Trials by the Norwegian Army in late 2010 were so positive that the 2 vehicles were sent to Afghanistan before the planned schedule was completed, and the tracks have received positive reviews in theater. No wonder – they reduce vehicle weight by more than 1,000 kg, cut noise by 10dB (50%), and reduce vibration levels by 65%, which helps prolong the life of interior electronics and optics. Once they’re back in Norway, they’ll also do better on ice and snow.
Heavier up-armored CV90 trials at 35 tonnes will take place through 2011, along with mine blast trials to assess the effect of blast and fragments on the tracks. BAE Systems.