n the future, Ukraine will re-arm itself with the CV90 BMP, while we are talking about 1000 cars, which is extremely positive news. Because we are talking about one of the most modern infantry fighting vehicles in the world, which has proven itself well, is constantly developing, being updated and will be in service for decades to come.

On the part of Defense Express, it is quite correct to devote a separate material to this BMP, produced by the giant BAE Systems, which has already announced its entry into Ukraine, and to pay attention to possible alternatives, including domestic options. And this is necessary in order to really assess the correctness of the choice.

 CV90 BMP: what are the main features and what could be its alternatives?
The CV90 is primarily a platform.

Traditional but revolutionary CV90 chassis with Formula 1 technologies

And when it comes to the CV90, it is usually talked about reservation, fire capabilities, and the mystique of landing, but in fact, the platform itself, the chassis, is the key for each machine. And everything depends on its capabilities – the level of reservation, armament, maneuverability, etc.

And at first glance, the CV90 is an absolutely classic chassis for BMP – the engine in the front part is shifted to the right, the tower is in the middle, and the landing compartment is in the stern. But the main thing is the suspension, which is calculated, at the moment because the development continues, for a weight of about 40 tons.

This mark guarantees the possibility of installing a high level of protection, including against 30-mm automatic guns, a powerful combat module, albeit with a 120-mm gun and a large landing compartment for 8 soldiers.

But the main innovation is the use of active damping on the torsion suspension – Active Damping. For the first time, this technology was used on Formula 1 cars, and it is about the fact that the suspension adapts to the surface and the speed of the car and adapts the stiffness in advance depending on the need. In reality, it looks like this:

And in practice, it allows you to significantly increase the smoothness of off-road movement, increase the average speed by 40%, increase the accuracy of fire on the move and increase the comfort of the crew and landing party. And this with a 1000-horsepower engine and a specific power of 27 hp/t for the CV90 MkIV with a weight of 37 tons.

And after that, it is possible to talk about everything else, particularly the level of protection that corresponds to other modern BMPs and the fire capabilities, which solely depend on the client’s desire to install this or that weapon.

Foreign alternatives to the CV90

That is, if we are not talking about the CV90 chassis, then we will be talking about a classic modern BMP. And there are actually quite a lot of them on the market. For example, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in a joint competition, chose between CV90, Ascod from General Dynamics and two German ones – Puma S1, which was developed by Rheinmetall together with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, and also Rheinmetall itself – Lynx KF41.

After the scandal with Puma, it is possible not to consider this car at all. By the way, it did not participate in comparative tests at all.

At the same time, Ascod is produced in Europe and is the chassis for such BMPs as the Austrian Ulan, the Spanish Pizarro, the British Ajax and the new light tank for the US Army M10 Booker. The chassis of the machine is designed for a weight of up to 42 tons. Moreover, Ascod beat CV90 in Britain and became Ajax.

But it is difficult to call the British order problem-free, and it was almost a matter of stopping the purchase of machines due to a number of problems. And at the beginning of 2023, it became known about the increase in the cost of the program to 5.5 billion pounds from 3.5 billion pounds for 589 cars.

The number of operators in the world is also a very good indicator. Ascod has four countries, and CV90 has seven current and three prospective ones, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Among the possible alternatives, we should mention Lynx KF41 from Rheinmetall, which also goes to Ukraine, but among all the firm customers of this BMP, only Hungary, which ordered 218 BMPs for 2 billion euros, of which 172 will be localized.

The price tag for Lynx KF41 under this 2020 contract is €9.17 million per unit. Under the 2022 contract with the Czech Republic – €10.12 million for one CV90 on order of 246 machines. Considering inflation and exchange rate differences (the Czechs announced the value of crowns), it is possible to talk about identity.

But compatibility and unification of technology with its nearest neighbors may be more important for Ukraine and general joint cooperation, which is extremely difficult to achieve with Hungary at the moment, given the position of official Budapest.

In theory, it is necessary to add the Korean BMP K21 (or AS21 Redback in the export version), but it seems that this country is not yet very interested in entering the Ukrainian market.

Domestic alternatives to the CV90

Whether the Ukrainian industry has something alternative at the CV90, Ascod, or Lynx KF41 level can be discussed for a long time. But we must remember that the Armed Forces’ plans to replace the Soviet BMP-1 and BMP-2 with something more adequate were announced as early as 2020.

Then Defense Express prepared a rather detailed publication with an overview of the main domestic projects of new combat vehicles for the Armed Forces. Among them was BMP-U, with a total combat weight of 25-27 tons, which was shown back in 2018 by the Morozov Kharkiv Design Bureau.

 CV90 BMP: what are the main features and what could be its alternatives?

The “Ukrainian armored vehicles” project demonstrated in 2019 at the “Weapons and Security” exhibition with a weight of up to 25 tons is generally similar to BMP-U in terms of its characteristics and capabilities.

 CV90 BMP: what are the main features and what could be its alternatives?

Among the candidates, it was also possible to evaluate the deep modernization of existing BMPs, or the creation of a machine based on the chassis of the 2C1 “Gvozdika” self-propelled artillery vehicle, which in turn is a modernization of the MT-LB. We leave the evaluation of these projects, especially the new ones, which still need to be brought to prototypes, after which their mass production can be launched, to the consideration of the readers.