BAE Systems has signed an extensive mid-life upgrade contract worth more than $500 million to make major improvements to the Royal Netherlands Army’s fleet of 122 CV9035NLs. The contract will see BAE fit a new turret that will vastly improve the vehicle’s capabilities while providing crews with improved protection and ergonomics for increased combat efficiency.
This will see the 35mm main weapon position changed to provide better vehicle balance and is based on the analysis of years of combat experience with the vehicle from multiple nations that use the CV90. Colonel Norbert Moerkens, the Royal Netherlands Army’s head of strategy and plans, said that:
“This is an important step to make sure that our Infantry Fighting Vehicles and our Army are well prepared for many years to come. This mid-life upgrade will also result in a lowering of the vehicles lifetime cost, at the same time as keeping our soldiers safe in the face of new threats.”
The Dutch vehicles are already undergoing a major enhancement program that is seeing them fitted with Elbit Systems Iron Fist active protection systems (APS) and a new Electro-Optic Aiming System (EOPS) which gives additional situation awareness. BAE have also conducted firing testing of CV90s fitted with SPIKE LR anti-tank missiles and states that these are also being fitted to the Dutch vehicles. With a range of 5,000m, this represents a substantial improvement in the vehicle’s combat capability.
The final result of these rolling improvements will be the Royal Netherlands Army fielding an extremely competent Infantry Fighting Vehicle into the future. BAE additionally state that more than twenty Dutch companies are involved in the supply chain for the mid-life upgrade program, which will support the Netherland’s defense industrial base for many years to come.