Norwegian Ministry of Defence has concluded a contract with the Estonian authorities, pertaining the sales of the 35 examples of the CV-90 Mk I infantry fighting vehicle chassis. These armoured personnel carriers will support the newer CV-90 Mk III IFVs acquired in the Netherlands. The latter vehicles are to be used by the Estonian mechanized battalion.
The agreement is related to transfer of 35 examples of the CV-90 IFV chassis and two training vehicles. According to the err.ee outlet, the value of the deal is to be contained in an amount of EUR 635 thousand. Øystein Bø, Norwegian MoD’s Secretary of State stated that the Agreement will make it possible to expand the capabilities of the Estonian Armed Forces. Norway, on the other hand, is satisfied with the fact that it may provide support for its NATO allies.
The vehicles will undergo the relevant modifications, required for them in order to take on a new role of a specialized support platform. The CV-90’s in question will be used alongside the ex-Dutch CV-9035 Mk III IFV, as the equipment for the first armed mechanized battalion in the Estonian Armed Forces. The supplies will be realized within the term between 2016 and 2017, while the combat vehicles from the Netherlands will be received by Estonia between 2016 and 2018.
The contract pertaining the delivery of the Dutch CV-9035 infantry fighting vehicles for Estonia has been signed at the end of 2014. It also covered deliveries of support vehicles, based on the Leopard I main battle tank chassis. The value of the agreement has been estimated as EUR 113 million, including the spare parts and training packages. On the other hand, a training exercise, involving the Dutch Army and CV-9035 IFV’s, also took part in Estonia last year. The aforementioned vehicle remains (and is still going to remain) in the active service.
Meanwhile, along with selling the surplus vehicles, the Norwegians are also modernizing their CV-90 fleet, in a programme which covers modification of 103 vehicles, and acquisition of 31 new ones. Norwegian Ministry of Defence confirmed, that sales of the surplus vehicles to Estonia will have no impact on the plan which assumes that the number defined as 144 CV-90 vehicles is going to be the target quantity used by the Army (including 74 IFVs, 21 reconnaissance vehicles, 15 command platforms, 16 multi-purpose carriers, 16 engineering vehicles and 2 training vehicles). Most probably then, according to Defence Industry Daily, Norway acquired more than 31 CV-90 vehicles – now they will be integrated with the turrets.
Despite the limited capabilities offered for Estonia by a single battalion-sized mechanized unit, one should note the Estonian approach towards the process of acquisition of the armoured vehicles. Besides the 44 combat platforms, supported by the Leopard 1 track-chassis support vehicles, 37 examples of chassis of the CV-90 vehicle are going to be utilized, in order to create the specialized varieties.
However, one cannot rule out a situation in which some of the aforementioned vehicles are used for spares, even though the information available does not suggest so. Such number of vehicles shall make it possible to create a significant quantity of support platform, making it possible to fully utilize the operational capabilities offered by a mechanized battalion. The above may be considered as a prime example of proper process of shaping the combat vehicles fleet.