Estonian Army CV9035EE Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV)
Estonian Army CV9035EE Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV)

Estonia to Modernize Its CV90 IFV with Kongsberg Protector RS4 RWS and Javelin ATGM

The Estonian Army (Estonian Land Forces, Maavägi) CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) were acquired from Norway back in 2016 to broaden the capabilities of the Estonian Armed Forces. Earlier this year, Go Craft and Scania Estonia were awarded the contract for a modernization and upgrade program that will run over the next two years. To meet future roles, the refurbished CV90 vehicles will be equipped with the Protector RS4 from Kongsberg. The Protector RS4 is a highly flexible system designed for small and medium caliber weapons including mounting of coaxial weapons and Anti-Tank Guided Missiles. An advanced and modular sensor suite enables unique and tailorable situational awareness. The fully stabilized 2 + 2 Axis system enables the gunner to keep his sights on target, independent of ballistic solution for the weapon and ammunition in use.

The Protector RS4 variant that Estonia has acquired includes the capability to fire the Raytheon Lockheed Martin Javelin Anti-Tank Guided Missile. The Javelin is developed in a Joint Venture between Raytheon and Lockheed Martin and is the world’s premier one-person-portable anti-armor missile. Javelin is a highly capable fire-and-forget missile defending against emerging near-equal threats. Integrated with the Protector RS4, the Javelin is extended to a remote-fired platform-based capability. The combined Kongsberg Protector RWS-Javelin system has already demonstrated itself as an accurate and reliable solution. Several successful live-fire demonstrations in Europe and USA have proven great capability on a wide range of platforms, ranging from smaller robotic vehicles to armored 8×8 platforms.

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Kongsberg Protector RS4 fired Javelin Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM)
Kongsberg Protector RS4 fired Javelin Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

The Protector family of Remote Weapon Systems is suitable for any mission – on land or at sea, on mobile or static platforms. They can integrate effectors for remote operation of payloads ranging from small caliber weapons to medium caliber automatic cannons. The Protector RWSs are continuously evolving to defeat future threats and meet the customer’s operational requirements. The Protector RWS’ has an unprecedented Operational Readiness Rate of 99% and low life cycle costs. More than 20.000 Protector Remote Weapon Systems have been produced to date and by adding Estonia to the list, the total number of 28 nations have acquired systems from the Protector RWS family. The PROTECTOR RS4 is a mature and proven product based on millions of hours of operational experience in combat zones and close cooperation with Defence Forces worldwide.

In 2020, the United States says it has delivered 128 anti-tank Javelin missiles to Estonia as part of a larger contract with the Baltic NATO member and the U.S. Defense Department. 80 CLU (with option for additional 40) and 350 missiles purchased from the United States in service from 2016. The FGM-148 Javelin is an American man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missile fielded to replace the M47 Dragon anti-tank missile in US service.[7] It uses automatic infrared guidance that allows the user to seek cover immediately after launch, as opposed to wire-guided systems, like the Dragon, which require the user to guide the weapon throughout the engagement. The Javelin’s HEAT warhead is capable of defeating modern tanks by hitting them from above where their armor is thinnest (see top-attack), and is also useful against fortifications in a direct attack flight. Over 5,000 Javelin missiles have been fired in combat.

The Estonian Army carried out the first live fire exercise with the Javelin anti-tank guided missile system
Estonian Army carried out live fire exercise with Javelin Anti-tank Guided Missile (ATGM)

The Combat Vehicle 90 (CV90; Sw. Stridsfordon 90, Strf90) is a family of Swedish tracked combat vehicles designed by Sweden’s Defense Materiel Administration (Försvarets Materielverk, FMV), Hägglunds and Bofors during the mid-1980s to early 1990s, entering service in Sweden in the mid-1990s. The CV90 platform design has continuously evolved in steps from Mk0 to current MkIV with advances in technology and in response to changing battlefield requirements. The Swedish version of the main infantry fighting vehicle is fitted with a turret from Bofors that is equipped with a 40 mm Bofors autocannon. Export versions are fitted with Hägglunds E-series turrets, armed with either a 30 mm Mk44 or a 35 mm Bushmaster autocannon.

The Government of Estonia authorized Defence Minister Sven Mikser to sign an agreement with the Netherlands for the acquisition of CV90NL infantry combat vehicles. The CV9035NL is an infantry combat vehicle of the CV90 family developed in Sweden for the Royal Netherlands Army. The purchase agreement will be signed in the Netherlands on 9 December 2014. Estonia is purchasing 44 CV90 infantry combat vehicles, unarmed support vehicles based on the Leopard I tank, and maintenance kits for the vehicles. Under a bilateral cooperation agreement, Estonia and the Netherlands are also planning a joint procurement of munitions and spare parts. The first delivery took place in 2016. That same year, Estonia struck a deal with Norway to purchase an additional 35 surplus CV9030N MK I hulls. Estonian Army CV90 infantry combat vehicle referred as CV9035EE.

Estonian Army CV9035EE Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV)
Estonian Army CV9035EE Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV)
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