The initial CV90120-T prototype was made available in 1998 though development was handled as a private venture - that is to say that the vehicle was not designed in response to any existing military requirement from a customer. Trials ensued resulting in a finalized design appearing in 2001. All told, the CV90120-T is a capable combat tank featuring good crew and systems protection with standard firepower levels for the budget-conscious shopper unable to procure the more expensive modern Main Battle Tanks in any number. Additionally, the "light tank" classification of the CV90120-T ensures that it is more portable that full-fledged MBTs, allowing it to be air-transported in the latest medium- and heavy-duty "movers" available to modern militaries. Comparatively, the CV90120-T weighs in at approximately 32 tons while most modern MBTs break the 60-ton limit - making the CV90120-T about half as light as modern MBTs it is designed to compete against. Dimensionally, the CV90120 measures a length of 21 feet, 3 inches with a width of 10 feet, 2 inches and a height of 9 feet, 6 inches.
The CV90120-T design showcases clean, sharp lines consistent with other modern Swedish military vehicle designs and is highly conventional in its appearance and layout. There are seven road wheels to a track side with each track's upper "reach" protected by "saw tooth" style side armor skirts. The hull is of a low profile with a well-sloped glacis plate (nearly horizontal) and vertical hull sides. The hull is of all-welded construction incorporating heavy steel. The driver is seated at the front-left of the hull, just ahead of the turret bustle with an access hatch for entry/exit as well as applicable vision blocks. The turret itself is also of an extremely low profile design with many heavily-sloped surfaces for basic ballistics protection. Various optics and sensors are fitted to the turret roof and electrically-operated smoke grenade dischargers are clearly identified along the side of the turret. The turret roof also contains two entry/exit hatches at the commander and gunner positions. The CV90120-T is crewed by four personnel to include the driver in the hull with the commander, gunner and loader in the turret (commander and gunner to the right with the loader to the left). The basic overlapping modular armor protection of the CV90120 vehicle can be further enhanced by optional Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) to increase protection even further. Additionally, the crew relies on the latest in active detection and countermeasures systems (via the Defensive Aid Suite) that can alert the crew (and automatically respond) to enemy scanning, tracking and engagement of the CV90120-T vehicle. This is accomplished via sensors used to detect incoming missile, radar and laser threats. A unique self-defense measure includes an active countermeasure "misting" system (known as the Multi-Specctral Aerosol = MSA per the BAE Systems website) designed to "coat" the exterior of the tank in water, helping to retard the tank's infrared heat signature. A "top-attack" radar and smart munitions identifier further make the CV90120 one of the most modern and advanced combat vehicles in the world.
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