Defense Ministry officials from Sweden and Ukraine have discussed delivery details and long-term maintenance for more powerful CV-90 infantry fighting vehicles to be operated by the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

The talks followed the signature of a letter of intent signed between Sweden and Denmark to continue deliveries of the popular weapons system to Ukraine, and develop a maintenance network.

The Wednesday talks in Kyiv brought closer a planned transfer from Stockholm to Kyiv of 20-25 new CV-90s built by the Swedish subsidiary of the Britain-headquartered major defense contractor BAE Systems.

According to a Swedish Defense Ministry statement, Denmark will commit the equivalent of $263.6 million to build supply chains and maintenance infrastructure for the AFU, and to buy and deliver to Ukraine additional CV-90s.

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“We had the opportunity to test this vehicle out in the summer. It is really what the AFU needs - powerful, maneuverable and functional. Undoubtedly, we need more of them,” said Dmytro Klimenkov, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, in a statement.

Klimenkov said the Wednesday discussions focused on the details of the maintenance plan and on eventual manufacture, in Ukraine, of CV-90 parts and later potentially entire weapons systems.

“This agreement will make it possible not only to carry out a one-time handover of weapons, but also to organize broad cooperation in the field of the defense industry (between Sweden and Ukraine), in particular, in the future to localize part of the production in Ukraine," Dmytro Klimenkov said.

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Designed by Sweden’s Hägglunds/Bofors and updated regularly since its initial fielding in the 1990s, the CV-90 is according to most military observers one of the most advanced infantry fighting vehicles in service in any army today.

Stockholm in early 2023 donated 51 CV-90s to the Ukrainian army, whose crews trained for nearly three months in Sweden to operate the vehicle. They first saw combat in July 2023.

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A heavily-armored personnel transporter outwardly similar to a tank, but designed to carry infantry and equipped with a fast-firing automatic cannon, CV-90 is most praised by AFU operators for advanced fire suppression and damage limitation systems protecting crew and passengers riding a CV-90 even from major hits, and excellent off-road performance, even in Ukraine’s notoriously sticky Black Earth mud.

 

In contrast to arms transfers to Ukraine from some western countries, who have sent Kyiv sometimes obsolete Cold War-era kit, the Swedish-Danish project has armed the AFU focused with the CV-9040C fighting vehicles, a late model, top-of-the-market variant of the vehicle with all-round armor, laser protection and enhanced air conditioning. The variant carries two crew and six infantrymen.

According to open sources, the AFU’s 21st Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade is the sole Ukrainian operator of CV-90s, deploying the vehicle to months of combat in the eastern Bakhmut and north-eastern Kupyansk sectors.

The military watch group Oryx reports that to date the AFU suffered independently  confirmed losses of two CV-9040C destroyed and three damaged.

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The 21st Brigade is currently accounted to be among the AFU’s most effective due to intense training, long combat experience and advanced weaponry. Aside from CV-90 21st Brigade according to open sources operates at least 10 Sweden-modified Strv 122 Leopard 2 tanks, as well as Polish Rosomak wheeled armored personnel carriers, and Leopard 2A6 tanks donated to Ukraine by Germany and Portugal.

Recent combat reports place elements of the 21st in Ukraine’s north-eastern Kharkiv sector, most recently in combat near the village Terny ajacent to the Russian border.

In January battles 21st Mech along with two other combat brigades claimed Ukrainian defenses reportedly ambushed and destroyed more than 40 Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers attempting to attack across a kilometer-wide battlefield.

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