BAE Systems Hägglunds has unveiled the first upgraded Combat Vehicle 90 (CV90) tank for the Royal Netherlands Army.

The mid-life upgrade is part of a $500-million contract awarded by the Dutch Defence Materiel Organization last year.

The country’s defense procurement agency said the modernization would ensure the combat vehicles are well-equipped with needed protection against evolving threats.

BAE Systems Hägglunds enhanced the tank’s turret design based on a study conducted by the Royal Netherlands Army to better address man-machine interaction.

The improvement provides operators with the ability to choose effective modes of operation, as well as reduce the vehicle’s detection, identification, and engagement time.

A total of 122 CV90s will be upgraded as part of the multimillion-dollar deal.

Once received by the Dutch army, the tanks will undergo multiple tests to validate their operational readiness.

Evolving Battlefield Scenarios

The Dutch Ministry of Defence explained that the recent upgrade would make the CV90s operationally relevant until 2039.

It further recognized that battlefield scenarios are evolving and potential enemies have become significantly stronger.

“The security situation has changed dramatically in recent years… The upgrade greatly increases the capabilities of the armored infantry vehicle,” the ministry stated.

Apart from mid-life upgrades, the CV90s went through further modifications, including the addition of rubber tracks to improve crew endurance and the integration of the Iron Fist Active Protection System for automatic detection, tracking, and neutralization of incoming threats.

The modernization of all 122 Royal Netherlands Army CV90 tanks is expected to be completed by 2026.

BAE Systems shows its upgraded CV90 tank with more firepower and better protection. Photo: Dutch Ministry of Defence

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