The countries participating in the Common Armoured Vehicle Systems (CAVS) expanded with the recent announcement by the German government that it will join the program.
A further boon was the 17 April 2023 formal announcement by the Swedish Defence Procurement Agency (FMV) of its commitment to purchase twenty of the Patria 6×6 armoured vehicles that make up CAVS. This now brings to four countries, Finland, Latvia, Sweden, and Germany committed to this multi-national armoured vehicle development and procurement cooperation.
Originally established by Finland and Latvia in 2019 the objective of the CAVS programme was to introduce a jointly developed state-of-the-art new armoured vehicle system. Following a thorough evaluation of potential vehicle candidates, the selection was made of the Patria 6×6. The Patria system for CAVS is based on Patria’s earlier 8×8 AMV and 6×6 XA-series vehicles with a similar chassis and power train with adaptions to address specific requirements for both Finland and Latvia.
CAVS is a 24,000 kg GVW vehicle using a Scania DC 09 diesel power plant providing 294 kW (394 hp). It has either an independent coil spring or hydro pneumatic suspension providing a road speed of 100 kmph (60 mph), as well as a comfortable ride for the crew of two and up to ten embarked personnel. It is also swim capable at 8 kmph (5 mph) using twin shrouded propellors. The basic vehicle has a protection of STANAG Level 2 which can be upgraded to Level 4. Primarily configured for troop transport the platform has been also provided in other mission role variants including equipped with auto-cannon remote weapon station and with the NEMO 120mm turret mortar.
The first orders for CAVS were placed by Latvia with over two hundred systems contracted. Initially vehicles will be manufactured in Patria’s Finland facility with production shifting to Latvia in 2023. First vehicles were delivered in 2021. Finland has also issued a letter of intent to procure 160 vehicles beginning in 2023 with three pre-series systems being delivered in 2022 for testing. Sweden’s initial order placed in April 2023 is for twenty vehicles for delivery by the end of the summer with the first in May. Designated the Pansarterrängbil 300 it was announced that these will be issued to the Lifeguards. Sweden plans to acquire a further four-hundred vehicles to be delivered beginning the end of 2024. Mats Warstedt, Patria’s head of Market Area Nordics explained, “The Swedish Armed Forces have operated Patria’s XA 6×6 and AMV 8×8 vehicles for over three decades in many harsh environments around the world and this new contract for, our latest Patria 6×6 vehicle proves that the vehicles live up to our promises”.
There has also been speculation that Estonia, an original member of the CAVS program that dropped out, may be considering re-joining the program. The introduction of a common combat vehicle platform in projected numbers by so many armies, as the case in CAVS, holds significant support, logistics and training benefits, as well as potential acquisition and life cycle economic savings.
by Stephen W. Miller