The Royal Netherlands Army has been working closely with BAE Systems Hägglunds to study the implementation of the Iron Fist APS onto the CV9035NL since 2015. “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,” said Joost Vernooij, Dutch Project Manager for CV90. “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,” Vernooij added.

The first phase evaluated the feasibility of five systems. The second phase focused on the inherent performance and high-level integration of the APS. With the first layer of soft-kill technology integrated onto the Dutch Army’s CV9035NL fleet, plans are underway to add the Iron Fist’s final layer. The integration of APS is part of the Mid-Life Upgrade program of the CV9035NL, with focus on integration, Human Machine interfacing and performance optimization.

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[wlm_ismember]Before its merger with Elbit Systems IMI offered two versions of Iron Fist, a lightweight, compact system integrated onto a single mount (IF-LC) and the Iron Fist Light-Decoupled (IF-LD), a modular system that offers more flexible integration and installation on small turrets. The Dutch military has been evaluating different types of Iron Fist. While the Dutch initially picked the IF-LC, the system that likely included in the MLU is the IL-LD. is easier integrated compact. [/wlm_ismember]

BAE Systems displayed IMI’s Iron Fist Lightweight (IF-LC) Configuration on its CV9035. BAE Systems was selected by the Dutch MOD to integrate the Iron Fist system on the CV9035NL. The version that is likely to be fielded is the IF-Light Decoupled (IF-LD), the same version selected by the US Army and IDF. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update.

“This development is a strategic milestone in the CV90’s holistic survivability approach.” Dan Lindell, the CV90 platform manager at BAE Systems Hägglunds explained. “It complements the already existing, stealth- and soft-kill layers with further means to defeat the incoming threat, making survivability even more achievable.” In addition to armored protection, the CV90’s overall survivability is enhanced by superior mobility, advanced signature management features, ease-of-use and maintainability, and a high degree of design efficiency. The APS adds the vehicle another layer of protection, provided by soft- and hard-kill countermeasures.

The Royal Netherlands Army is one of seven European armies operating the CV90. The Netherlands currently operates 149 CV9035NL vehicles. Other operators include Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Estonia. These nations are expected to follow the Dutch selection when extending the life of their AFVs.