Armoured Vehicles – Danish CV9035s Arrive in
Afghanistan – February 2010
Afghan South 2010: the Danish CV9035 DK Infantry Fighting Vehicles
Arrive in Helmand Province and Prepare
for ISAF Combat Operations
CASR has previously covered Danish preparations to deploy new CV9035 infantry fighting vehicles to Afghanistan, including some
details of how these infanterikampkøretøjer or IKK were being up-armoured. The Danes have encountered delays in
deploying their CV9035s in time for Denmark's ISAF Roto 9.  Here we cover how those difficulties are being
On 15 Feb 2010, the last of ten Danish infantry
fighting vehicles off-loaded at Camp
Helmand Province. Delivery of these 10 CV9035
IKKs was fraught with challenges.
First a cargo
vessel transporting the armoured vehicles to an
undisclosed Middle Eastern
jumping off point
experienced mechanical problems. Air transport
was then delayed while
diplomatic transit permit approval was frantically sought by Danish logistics command. Once permits were in place,
the vehicles could finally be loaded onto leased Antonov An-124 aircraft for delivery to Helmand.
The IKKs were scheduled to complete that final leg of their journey to Afghanistan by aircraft in late January but
notification was not received until 10 Feb 2010 that overflight permission to Afghanistan had at
last been granted. Once local officialdom had been satisfied, the leased Antonovs cargo aircraft were loaded
with CV9035s and their kit and flown in to Camp Bastion.
While this Middle Eastern bureaucracy and baksheesh were sorted out, other forms of IKK preparations
were taking place 6,000 km away. Two infanterikampkøretøj were put through IKK-klimatest
or hot weather trials in South Africa (see Danish Press Release). The goal was to test vehicle
performance and maintenance routines in hot, dry, dusty conditions – and South Africa at the height
of a Southern Hemisphere summer was the ideal location. The klimatest also included live firing of all types
of ammunition for the CV9035 DK.
The IKK-klimatest continues even as the operational CV9035 DKs are delivered to Helmand.
Changes dictated by the climate trials – such as new computer router ventilators and coolant
formulae – will be made at Camp Bastion. New maintenance training procedures and orders for
the necessary extra spare tracks plus replacement track pads are, no doubt, being put in place.
The Helmand CV9035s began their transformation
into fully operational vehicles the evening of
arrival at Camp Bastion. The vehicles had arrived
'nøgne', looking little
different from other CV9035s
in Danish service. Once at Camp Bastion, the IKK
swathed in Barracuda camouflage mats
whose thermal properties also serve to reduce
temperature of the vehicles interior compartments.
Barracuda mats have been proven in Helmand on Danish
Leopard 2A5 tanks – as well as on other Danish vehicle types in-theatre. (Canadian Forces Leopard 2A6Ms also use Barracuda mats
while the CF's older Leopard C2s in Kandahar mount
different, but similar, thermal mats.) Such mats do provide a visual camouflage but their primary purpose was to
mask the vehicle's thermal 'signature'. An unexpected side benefit was that the thermal mats also reduced interior
temperatures thereby lessening the cooling equipment loads for personnel and for electronics.
The operational CV9035 DK is also being fitted with a slat armour 'cage'. With RPGs a major threat in Helmand, slat
armour has been applied to Danish vehicles in-theatre (other than tanks). This contrasts with CF practice. Canadian
vehicles have not been fitted with slat armour other than Leopard 2A6M tanks. This might just be
indicative of different threat types in neighbouring Afghan provinces. Slat armour
aside, it's worth contrasting Danish and Canadian approaches.
Like Canada, Denmark had extended the life of its tracked M113 fleet. The European version of the LAV III, the
Piranha, was bought – but as an ambulance not as a infantry carrier. Moving rather cautiously, the
Danish Army then decided to buy a small number of CV9035s at the end of 2005. Four years later,
those 45 'IKK 9035s' are in service and about to engage in combat.
DND expressed interest in the CV90 when that Swedish vehicle was still under development in the early 1990s. But the
CV90 per vehicle cost was judged too high. Almost a decade later, the CV90 pops up again under the Close Combat Vehicle project. What has changed is mostly
the vehicle numbers involved. Instead, of 1,500 LAVs , just over 100 CCVs were to be
Denmark faces similar fiscal constraints and political divisions as Canada does. So why have the Danes just
fielded a modern infantry fighting vehicle while DND's CCV project is stalled? The simple answer is:
a different approach to managing procurement projects. Danish defence planning is done in four year blocks covering
both objectives and costs. As a result, a project office is unlikely to survive if its planned procurement has not
borne fruit in this 4-year period.
There is also a major difference at the political level. That Danish plan is based on agreements arrived at in the
Danish parliament. A ruling party may hold more sway than minor opposition parties but that 4-year defence plan
cannot be dictated to the Folketinget by the government. As a consensus document, the Danish defence
plan provides more continuity and stability to procurement projects than is currently possible in Canada. Until
Canadian defence policy and procurement priorities are determined by Parliament rather the ruling party, we will
continue to see partisan political interests take precedence over timely and practical procurement
 The IKK was to replace Danish TLAVs – the M113 G3 PMV (pansret mandskabsvogn) in
Afghanistan in early Feb 2010. Now, PMVs must fill in until the CV9035 fleet is combat ready.
 When the Conservative government of the day baulked at a $2.8B price for the 'Multi-Role Combat Vehicle'
project, MRCV was axed in favour of 1,500 LAV IIIs ( later cut down to 651 ).