The Royal Netherlands Army (RNLA) has outlined plans to upgrade a number of its armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) in order to extend their operational lives and enhance capabilities.
Details were given by Colonel Eric Molenaar, Head of Material, Army Staff of the RNLA, at the IQPC International Armoured Vehicles 2017 conference held in London from 23 to 26 January.
The RNLA is set to upgrade at least part of its CV9035NL fleet in two phases. Under Phase 1, 44 vehicles will be fitted with a hard-kill defensive-aid suite (DAS) under the leadership of BAE Systems Hägglunds.
The service took delivery of 184 CV9035NL - also referred to as the CV9035 Mk III - from BAE Systems Hägglunds between 2007 and 2011.
The vehicles are armed with an Orbital ATK Armament Systems 35 mm Bushmaster III dual-feed cannon and a 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun (MG). The 35 mm cannon can potentially be upgraded to fire 50 mm ammunition, but this option has not yet been exercised by the RNLA.
Of the 184 vehicles 150 were in the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) configuration and the remaining 34 in the command-and-control configuration. However, as a result of downsizing a number of CV9035NL platforms were surplus to requirements and 44 have now been sold to Estonia.
Israel Military Industries' Iron Fist hard-kill DAS has been selected to meet the RNLA's requirements and during the test phase it will be pre-qualified against the threat specification before moving onto the next phase - installing the system onto the vehicle - in 2018.
Phase 2 of the upgrade will see a number of obsolescence issues addressed, as well as the installation of a new battle management system (BMS), thermal imager for the driver, and the Spike medium-range anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) system.
The current steel tracks will be replaced by rubber band tracks, which are already installed on the CV9030 IFV in service with Norway.
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