Sweden Expands Bv206S Fleet for Rapid Reaction Force
A Jan 2006 DID article covered the reasons behind the Bv206 family’s popularity around the world, via BAE Hagglunds vehicles and local variants. Their outstanding air transportability, amphibious all-terrain capability, and multiple variants covering a wide range of functions and make them well-suited to a role as infantry enhancement vehicles. While they are not substitutes for a full APC like Hagglunds’ own CV90 or the wheeled General Dynamics LAV III/Stryker, they do offer air-portable infantry mobility with small arms protection; additional carrying capacity over all terrains to reduce soldiers’ burdens; and firepower enhancement via its weapon mount options, heavy weapon storage inside, and towing capabilities (incl. mortars, howitzers et. al.). The result is a combination of APC and Jeep benefits in a more mobile, all-terrain platform capable of 3rd-dimension envelopment and rapid ground response.
Now BAE Systems Hagglunds AB has received a SKr 260 million ($35 million) rush order from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for 52 additional Bv206S vehicles, with an option for more. The order amounts to 52 vehicles with an option to acquire additional vehicles, bringing the Swedish Armed Forces up to a total of 93 Bv206S. The goal driving the FMV is:
“…the need for tactical and strategic mobility, which is required in the rapid reaction force called Nordic Battle Group, which will be at EU’s disposal as from January 1st 2008. The Battle Group will be led by Sweden… Bv206S can be transported by air with several of the smaller airplanes and helicopter models, which makes it a very suitable vehicle alternative for rapid forces with high demands on tactical and strategical mobility and troop transport under protection.” (see full release)
This represents a different mobility philosophy, capability set, and price-point than the US Marines’ upcoming EFV – one that has proved attractive to Marines in Britain, The Netherlands, and elsewhere, as well as airborne and rapid-reaction forces.
The Bv206S is fully amphibious with a loading capacity of 1550 kg, and a tow capacity of up to 2500 kg. Over 11,000 Bv206 vehicles are in service worldwide, plus local variants and improved versions like the up-armored Bv-206S, next-generation BvS-10 Viking, and Singapore’s similar ATTC Bronco. With this order, 479 Bv206S vehicles have now been sold to Sweden, Germany, Italy, France and Spain.