CV-90 AFV. Integrated co-axial machine-gun and grenade launchers can be seen, as well as the compact commander and gunner H-K sights.

CV90 Armadillo


CV-90 AMOS Dual Mortar Vehicle


The Combat Vehicle-90 (CV-90) is a family of Swedish designed and built tracked combat vehicles. Referred to in Sweden as the Stridsfordon 90 (Strf 90), the tracked AFV was designed by Hägglunds/Bofors and over 1000 have been manufactured by BAE Systems since 1993. The vehicle was designed specifically to deal with the extreme cold and snow of the Nordic climate, with mobility optimized for snow and wetlands. The baseline vehicle is an IFV configuration. Additional variants available include a Forward Observation vehicle, a Command and Control vehicle, Recovery vehicle, Electronic Warfare vehicle and an Anti-Aircraft vehicle, with other variants being able to be produced to suit particular customer requirements. Vehicle cost depends upon variant and customer requirements, averaging approximately £4 million per vehicle.


The CV-90 has evolved from an Mk0 configuration, weighing 50,600 pounds (23 tonnes) to the most modern MkIII configuration which weighs 77,000 pounds (35 tonnes). Configuration upgrades from Mk0 to MkIII were conducted to reflect ever more aggressive customer requirements, with each upgrade tending to improve the vehicle protection systems, electronics, track system and engine power output, with a corresponding increase in overall vehicle weight. The vehicle is approximately 22 feet long (6.5 meters), 10 feet wide (3 meters) and 9 feet (2.7 meters) in height.

Operated by a crew of 3 with a driver at the front left and the commander and gunner in the turret, earlier configurations of the CV-90 accommodate a compliment of 8 troops while later versions allow for 6. The MkIII is powered by a Scania DSI 16 litre V8 diesel engine that generates 810 hp, providing the vehicle a power to weight ratio of 21 hp/ton. With an automatic transmission, torsion bar suspension and a maximum road speed of 42 mph (70 km/hr) the CV-90 Mk III has an operational range of 370 miles (600 km). The vehicle was also designed to be much quieter than most tracked vehicles, improving both crew comfort and tactical stealth.

Over 1000 vehicles have been produced to date, with Sweden buying 509 of these. As well vehicles have been sold to Finland (102 vehicles), Denmark (45), the Netherlands (193), Estonia (44), Norway (103) and Switzerland (186).

Key variants to date include:

Strf 9040 – Original production version with unstabilized turreted 40 mm autocannon and 8 dismounts.

Strf 9040A – Upgraded version includes extensive chassis modifications and gun stabilisation. The chassis mods provide enhanced storage and emergency exits for the crew and troops, but reduced the troop accommodations to 7.

Strf 9040B – A further upgrade, primarily introducing improvement to the gun controls, including new fire control software, an electric firing pin, a fully stabilized gun, a reserve sight and video camera for the gunner, and enhanced suspension system to improve on the move aiming.

Strf 9040C – Upgraded version intended for international operations, including enhanced armor providing 360 protection. Troop compliment is reduced to 6 personnel.

Luftvärnskanonvagn (lvkv) 9040 – This is an anti-aircraft variant equipped with a high elevation 40 mm autocannon and a PS-95 radar. The ammunition used for anti-aircraft operations in programmable.

Stridsledningspansarbandvagn (Stripbv) 90 – A Forward Command Vehicle used by battalion and brigade commanders for command & control.

Eldledningspansarbandvagn (Epbv) 90 – A Forward Observation Vehicle used to direct artillery and mortar fire.

CV9030 – This is an export version of the vehicle equipped with a 30 mm Bushmaster II autocannon.

CV9035 – Similar export version armed with a Bushmaster III 35/50 cannon.

CV90105 – Vehicle equipped with a turreted 105 mm rifled gun, meant for anti-tank and anti-bunker operations.

CV90120-T – This vehicle mounts a tank turret and a smoothbore 120 mm gun and is designed for anti-tank operations. This is a demonstrator vehicle only.

CV90 Armadillo – This is a highly modularized vehicle that can be configured as an APC, an ambulance, a command and control centre and a recovery vehicle, as well as a range of other non-turreted variants.

CV90 AMOS – Mounts the Finnish/Swedish Patria Hägglunds designed and manufactured 120 mm automatic twin barreled, breech loaded Advanced Mortar System (AMOS) turret. The system is computer controlled and able to maintain fire rates of 12 rounds per minute and is able to have 16 rounds simultaneously impact a target through adjusting firing angle and propellant quantity. The system thereby has the same effective firepower as an entire artillery battery.


The main weapon installed on the baseline CV-90 is the two-man turreted 40mm L/70 Bofors cartridge fed auto-cannon. This cannon is a derivative of the Swedish designed 40 mm anti-aircraft gun which was originally designed prior to World War II. The original L/70s installed on the early CV-90s had unstabilized barrels but all weapons were upgraded to be gyro-stabilized as of 1997. The gun is actually installed upside down to enable it to be fit into the turret. A range of armor piercing and programmable ammunition is available. Aiming of the weapon is facelifted with a computerised Fire Control System (FCS), a UTAAS (Universal Tank and Anti-Aircraft Sight), a daytime optical sight, a Thermal Imaging System (TIS) and Generation III Image Intensification (II).

The secondary weapon used on the CV-90 is a 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun. There are also six 76-mm grenade launchers. These are arranged in groups of three on each side of the turret and designed to fire both smoke grenades to conceal the vehicle location and a range of anti-personnel fragmentation grenades to discourage approaching anti-tank infantry teams.

A wide range of weapon systems have also been integrated onto the chassis to produce other variants, as described above. These include the 120 mm AMOS, 25 mm and 35 mm versions of the chain gun, and both a 105 mm and 120 mm gun.

The CV90120-T Tank Destroyer is a demonstrator vehicle developed by BAE Systems as a private venture and was conceived as a light-weight vehicle with the mobility of an IFV and the firepower of a MBT. Weighing only 77,000 pounds (35 tonnes) the vehicle mounts a fully stabilised Swiss RUAG Defence high pressure 120 mm L/50 smoothbore Compact Tank Gun (CTG) fitted with a thermal sleeve, fume extractor and a pepperpot muzzle brake to reduce recoil forces. It can fire all types of current and projected in service 120 mm ammunition including the latest 5th generation Rheinmetall DeTec DM53 and DM63 APFSDS-T rounds. The gun can also fire the new types of HE rounds being developed by Rheinmetall DeTec and the NAMMO 120 mm HE rounds.


Each successive generation of the CV-90 provides greater protection levels than prior generation vehicles. The CV-90 baseline armor package provides the vehicle with 360 degree protection against zero obliquity zero azimuth (i.e., straight on shots) Soviet 14.5 mm armor-piercing rounds. This is a relatively common standard baseline performance for APCs and IFVs. Frontal arc protection, though classified, most probably provides protection against 30 mm AFDSFS rounds. 25 and 30 mm APDSFS protection levels over the frontal +/- 30 degree arc is also quite common for modern APCs and IFVs. Some CV-90 vehicle variants are configured to permit mounting of optional IBD MEXAS ceramic appliqué armor modules to upgrade protection to full 360 degrees coverage against 30 mm APDSFS. This kit also provides inherent Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) protection.

The CV-90 is also equipped with a Kevlar based spall suppression liner on the vehicle interior to protect crew and occupants against spalling metal fragments. As well there is an integrated Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) filtration system with chemical and radiation detectors. The latest generation of CV-90 vehicle provides crew and occupant protection against 10 kg TNT anti-tank mines. This is achieved through the combination of a rugged floor design and a relatively high ground clearance compared to typical tracked vehicles. The vehicle can also be fitted with cage armor to provide RPG protection against unitary and tandem shaped charge warheads.

The vehicle was designed specifically to minimize radar and infrared signatures to reduce detectability and target acquisition by an enemy. To achieve this the vehicle both has a low profile and is equipped with heat-absorbing filters. These filters reduce the vehicle signature as detected by Thermal Imaging Systems (TIS), Image Intensifiers (II) and Infrared (IR) cameras. The Mk III generation of vehicles also integrates an automatic Defensive Aid Suite (DAS). This system automatically discharges smoke grenades to conceal the vehicles location when the system detects that it has been lased by a laser rangefinder or a laser designator. The system will also automatically align the main weapon to the direction of the detected threat (slew to cue), facilitating immediate countering of the threat source.


The CV-90 was deployed by Sweden to support the United Nations intervention in Liberia in 2004 but none of the 13 vehicles deployed saw combat conditions. Swedish CV-90s later deployed to Afghanistan did however experience significant encounters with insurgents in the spring of 2011. In general, the Swedes were satisfied with the performance of the vehicle in protecting the occupants.

In 2007 the Norwegian Army deployed CV-90s to support the War in Afghanistan as part of the ISAF commitment. These vehicles also saw heavy contact during Operation Harekate Yolo. Norwegian forces from the 2nd Battalion were dispatched to support Afghan National Army troops who were under attack by Taliban forces in the Ghowrmach district. The outnumbered Norwegians relied heavily upon their CV-90s to counter the Taliban attack. The vehicles also saw combat in May 2008 when a number of vehicles were fired upon with HMG and RPGs by the Taliban during Operation Karez in Badghis Province. In both of these combat encounters no casualties resulted to occupants in the CV-90 and no significant damage was incurred by the vehicles. In early 2010 however the driver of a Norwegian CV-90 was killed when the vehicle encountered a large IED in Ghowrmach, Afghanistan.

Throughout 2010 the Danish Army deployed 10 CV-90s to Afghanistan to assist their troops in Helmand Province. Two of these vehicles encountered IEDs and while tracks and road-wheels were damaged the vehicles effectively protected the occupants and the damage was repairable. In another incident in August of 2010 a Danish CV-90 struck an IED in which two soldiers were killed and three others were wounded. Such events occur as these will eventually occur as there is a great range in the size of IEDs employed and vehicles cannot be designed to protect occupants against all possible scenarios. For example, in the incident noted the blast was so powerful that the vehicle was physically over-turned by the event.


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