This is the third and final of a three-part series on the CV90 in the digital age of warfare.
Digitization in society in general, and specifically in the armed forces, means that the demand for cybersecurity and the importance of products, systems, and solutions that protect national security interests is increasing. But it also means protecting the soldiers fighting the fight and getting them home safely.
Digital technology enables quicker situational awareness on the battlefield for identifying and neutralizing threats, helping soldiers successfully carry out the mission and returning home when combat operations end.
More than a decade ago, the Norwegian Armed Forces recognized the benefit of digitization and incorporated technology within their national defense strategy to create an information network across platforms in the land, sea, and air domains so all of the forces can see the overall battlespace picture. This included the addition of this technology on the CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
BAE Systems teamed with the Norwegian military and companies, including Norway-based KONGSBERG Defence and Aerospace and Thales Norway, to equip the CV90 fighting vehicle with this technology, making the vehicle a critical node on the digitized battlefield.
The CV90 has many best-in-class features but its most important quality is soldier survivability - protecting soldiers on the battlefield. And a big part of that is protecting the information the soldiers are using to fight through cybersecurity.
“Secure communications is a prerequisite for military operations. Ensuring that critical information stays secure across the CV90 platform is another way in which we are assisting the crew to complete their mission and get home safe,” said Dan Lindell, director of combat vehicles BAE Systems Hägglunds which manufactures the vehicles in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. “We work with a number of talented and highly competent Norwegian providers who deliver high-tech products in this area, in order to put the best capabilities on the battlefield.”
Securing national defense
Thales Norway specializes in high-grade secure communication systems and plays a significant role in Norway’s CV90 program. Its SOTAS system is an integral component of internal communication for vehicles on the move and enables secure communication between different units. The system provides vehicle communication, networking, and sensor integration.
“Secure communication is becoming increasingly important in the digital age,” said Stian Kjensberg, director of business development for Thales Norway. “It is about everything from better sensors, through developing more advanced information systems to an increased need to share data between platforms and devices.”
Thales Norway's secure communications solutions can be found on some of the Norwegian Armed Forces' most important platforms, such as frigates and submarines, in addition to the CV90 tracked combat vehicle.
Keeping up as needs and threats change
Digitization offers great opportunities but also gives rise to new challenges for defense information systems. This makes cybersecurity an integral part of major platform projects such as the CV90 upgrade program.
“Our collaboration with BAE Systems and KONGSBERG as part of the CV90 program has strengthened each of our expertise and capabilities,” Kjensberg said. “Together we have been able to provide the Norwegian Armed Forces with the most modern and secure solutions as they continue to strive towards efficient digital warfare capabilities.”
“And Thales Norway will continue to be at the forefront of development to drive the highest operational effectiveness possible with an enhanced ability to communicate securely in the future,” Kjensberg added.
The CV90 has been leading the way at introducing this technology to the Norwegian Army. The next branch of the Norwegian Armed Forces to install the technology will be the Norwegian Navy.
The technology is constantly evolving. BAE Systems has come a long way with the support of its Norwegian teammates.
“At BAE Systems Hägglunds, we believe we have only seen the beginning of combined arms technology and what it is truly capable of,” Lindell said. “As more nations start to understand the benefits of an ‘integrate once, use everywhere’ approach, the systems will become more efficient and the technology will only get better and better,” Lindell said.
Thales Norway develops and delivers world leading high-grade secure communication systems for extreme challenges within the defense and security markets in Norway and its allies. Thales Norway AS operates under the Norwegian Safety Act and is an integral part of the total defense concept in Norway.