January 4, 2015: Strategy Page
Estonia has become the latest East European nation to buy second hand, but quite modern, armored vehicles from West European nations that feel they don’t need them anymore. In this case the Netherlands is selling 44 used, but well cared for, V90 IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) to Estonia. These CV90s entered Dutch service between 2008 and 2011 and the ones Estonia is receiving have at least two decades of useful life left in them.
Estonia is one of the Baltic States that were often part of the Russian Empire but would rather cultivate cultural and economic ties with countries to the west. Estonia is also ethnically linked to Finland as both nations speak a similar Central Asian language (which is also similar to what is spoken in Hungary). In addition to sharing a language, all three of these countries also fear Russian aggression.
Development of the CV90 began in 1988, with production starting in late 1993. The 28 ton tracked vehicle has a crew of three and carries seven passengers (usually infantrymen). With a top road speed of 70 kilometers an hour, the CV90 can go 300 kilometers on internal fuel. The vehicle turret carries a 30mm autocannon and a coaxial 7.62mm machine-gun. Also in the turret is a thermal imager for night operations. The vehicle armor protects against projectiles of up to 30mm caliber.
There are several variants of the CV90, carrying different weapons (120mm mortar, anti-tank missiles, 120mm gun, 25mm gun, 30mm gun, 105mm gun, anti-aircraft radar, and missiles). The CV90 is 6.55 meters (20.3) feet long and 3.1 meters (9.6 feet) wide. Average cost of a new CV90 was about $5 million each. Estonia is paying about $3.2 million each for theirs. The Swedish army has about 555 CV90s, Switzerland 185, Finland 102, Denmark 45, and Netherlands 193. Several of the original owners of the CV90 upgraded them with things like more armor, better electronics and air conditioning. West European users have been quite satisfied with the Swedish made CV90.