17 Armoured Infantry Battalion to Switch from 'Heavy' to 'Light'

This year, 17 Armoured Infantry Battalion will be the first unit of 13 Light Brigade to be 'given wheels'. The tracked CV90s of this Oirschot-based brigade will be replaced by Bushmasters and Mercedes-Benz 280CDi open terrain vehicles. 17 Armoured Infantry Battalion has now been tasked with gaining experience with the new mode of operating.

The change is not without consequences. For example, a unit with wheeled vehicles has a larger range of action than one with tracked vehicles. A Bushmaster can simply be driven faster and further than a CV90. That makes the light brigade excellently suited to tasks in extensive areas of operation and in built-up areas among the population.

Of course, there are also a number of disadvantages. The CV90 is equipped with a big built-in cannon, a feature absent in the wheeled vehicles for the time being.

The pilot company under command of Captain Kerstens must have achieved operational readiness by 1 April 2016. The rest of the battalion is to follow in the months after that.

Source: MOD Netherlands
Date: Jan 30, 2015