Dutch Select Iron Fist APS for CV90

BAE Systems Hägglunds has been awarded a contract this week to fit Elbit Systems’ Iron Fist active protection system (APS) to Dutch Army CV9035NL infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) as one element of the Mid-Life Upgrade programme for the IFV.

The procurement of an APS for the CV9035NL began in 2015. Joost Vernooij, Dutch BAE Systems Project Manager for CV90 noted; “Over the last couple of years, we have done a thorough job in studying the integration and conducting system tests with the Active Protection System for the CV90 platform. We are now confident that it will provide the capability we need. The APS will give us a significant combat advantage and will improve tactical operation.”

Part of the Dutch integration of Iron Fist has been ensuring system compatibility with the existing BAE Systems’ DAS or Defensive Aides Suite already installed on Dutch vehicles which includes both a laser warning system and smoke grenades.

Developments for the Combat Vehicle 90 platform, including APS integration, have been driven by the CV90 User Club, an organisation which includes the seven European nations currently deploying CV90 variants- Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden.

Dutch soldiers of the 45 Pantserinnfantriebatalijon train with their CV90’s in the area of Rena in preparation for the exercise Trident Juncture 2018. Photo by Captain Evert-Jan Daniels

Dan Lindell, Director Combat Vehicles Hägglunds at BAE Systems Hägglunds explained; “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.”

The employment of the Soucy rubber track system was driven by Norwegian operational experience in Afghanistan in 2009 whilst the Grkpbv 90 Mjölner Mortar System has been developed by the Swedish Army and recently displayed at DSEI 2019. The Mjölner is comprised of two 120mm mortars with automated reloading allowing up to 16 rounds per minute to be fired before rapid relocation.