Announced on 2 June, Finland’s Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen has granted authorisation to the nation’s defence forces for the procurement of 91 armoured 6×6 personnel carriers from Patria in a €208m ($224.6m) deal, with a provision to purchase up to 70 additional Common Armoured Vehicle System (CAVS) vehicles. Delivery is expected in 2023, according to a Finnish Ministry of Defence release.

The purchase is part of the international CAVS project, led by Finland and including Latvia, Sweden, and Germany, with Patria as the prime contractor. CAVS was a collaboration between the countries to create a wheeled armoured vehicle system with shared specifications.

Since joining Nato last year in the shadow of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland has committed to substantial increases in defence expenditure. The EU’s Nordic battlegroup is regularly manned by Finnish troops, signalling Finland’s intent to uphold collective security with its regional allies, according to GlobalData’s ‘Finland Defense Market 2022-2027‘ report.

The Patria CAVS 6×6 armoured wheeled vehicle is a new all-wheel drive combat vehicle developed by Finnish defence company Patria Land Systems. It is a successor to the Patria XA-series 6×6 Pasi armoured personnel carrier, which was introduced in the 1980s. Patria’s 6×6 armoured vehicle platform has various vehicle models, including the personnel carrier being procured by Finland in this announcement.

“The procurement will develop the mobility of the Army with domestically manufactured vehicles. They are ideal for Finnish conditions and are highly cost-effective throughout their life cycle,” said Minister Kaikkonen.

CAVS to augment Finland’s force mobility through to 2060

Patria’s customisable, Nato-compatible, 6×6 armoured vehicle has a truck-like chassis structure and retains components from its predecessor, the Patria armoured modular vehicle. The primary purpose of the CAVS vehicle purchased by Finland is troop transport, but it has the capability to be customised to fulfil various combat support needs. In terms of troop carrying capacity, the new vehicle can house a maximum of three crew members and ten combat troops, with the crew occupying the front section of the hull, while the fully enclosed troop compartment is located at the back of the vehicle.

As an optional feature, the vehicle offers an amphibious capability for water crossing and landing operations. In addition to its optimised configuration featuring STANAG level 2 ballistic and mine protection, the CAVS boasts a payload capacity that can accommodate STANAG level 4 ballistic and mine protection.

According to the release, Finland expects these vehicles to enhance the mobility capabilities of its Army’s wheeled vehicles through until the 2060s, slightly ahead of the expected service life of 30 years.

In April 2023, Germany officially joined the CAVS project, confirming a technical arrangement and signing a statement of intent to participate int eh programme. This followed Sweden’s 2022 entry into the programme initially founded by Finland and Latvia in 2021.