“There will be a total of nine different configurations, so this is truly a challenge in logistics,” says Flemin. “As of today, we are actually ahead of plan.”
The program will proceed in staggered phases, with finalized design of the last variant to be delivered, the armored reconnaissance platform, about a year behind the basic vehicle schedule. Delivery of the final vehicle is planned for the second quarter of 2017.
The contract also includes a 20-year maintenance agreement, initiated on delivery of the first upgraded vehicle, and comprising five-year options.
Meanwhile, Hagglunds continues to publicize a concept based on a CV90120—a light-tank configuration featuring a Ruag 120-mm smoothbore cannon—covered with small hexagonal panels that change the thermal signature of the vehicle. Called Adaptiv, it is the product of a research partnership with the Swedish ministry into the viability of an adaptive camouflage system. Announced at the DSEi exhibition in London last year, Adaptiv has so far demonstrated the ability to blend the vehicle's infrared (IR) signature with background images; to change that signature to mimic other objects in the landscape, such as civilian vehicles or natural objects; and to display messages or markings to communicate with friendly forces.
But there are challenges. “We probably cannot sell this only with the IR feature,” says Peder Sjolund, Adaptiv program manager. “We need multispectral features on the system. The goal of the whole system is to include visual active camouflage, radar cross-section reduction with radar-absorbent features in the tiles and inherent blast protection.”
Sjolund argues that many necessary technologies are available commercially, and estimates that, with funding in place, a viable prototype could be produced in two to three years, with a finished system deliverable in under six years. A decision on further Swedish government funding is expected before the end of the year. Sjolund says the company has had discussions with “several” interested potential customers.