BAE Systems has secured a contract to upgrade the Royal Netherlands Army's fleet of CV90 infantry fighting vehicles with the integration of active protection systems (APS).

Under the contract, the company will test and evaluate Iron Fist APS on the Dutch CV9035NL vehicles, which enable interception of incoming rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles, and other threats to increase crew and vehicle survivability.

Tests conducted will pre-qualify the active system against the Netherlands Ministry of Defence's threat specification.

Developed by Israeli supplier IMI Systems, Iron Fist is an automated system that uses a radar to detect and track threats and then takes action to eliminate the threat.

BAE Systems Hägglunds managing director Tommy Gustafsson-Rask said: “Iron Fist will give the Dutch Army a highly sophisticated defensive tool on its CV90s to counter threats and improve the safety of the vehicle and its crew.

“Iron Fist is yet another example of the advanced technology BAE Systems and its partners can deliver to our customers.”

Following integration of Iron Fist, the Netherlands is expected to become the first Nato country with an APS of its kind on combat vehicles.

The Dutch ministry plans to make a decision on the next phase by early 2018.

BAE Systems is currently involved in the development of survivability technologies for combat vehicles.

The company's ADAPTIV system uses cloaking technology to alter the appearance of a vehicle, making it harder to identify, while its BattleView 360 awareness system employs sensors outside the vehicle that feed a 360° image to a helmet-mounted monocle.

Image: Dutch CV90s to become first Nato combat vehicles to receive active protection. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.