CV90120 (CV90120-T / CV90-120)
Light Tank / Tank Destroyer (TD)
The CV90120-T Light Tank mates the proven chassis of the CV90 IFV with a powerful 120mm main gun.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The CV90120-T is related to the Swedish family of armored vehicles known under the collective designation of "Combat Vehicle 90". The CV90120-T is essentially based on a modified version of the CV90 Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) chassis though, as its own designation suggests, it is fitted with a 120mm main gun and is formally classified as a "light tank". The CV90120-T, therefore, can be thought of as a counter to the more expensive Main Battle Tank (MBT) systems currently available, offering the same level of inherent firepower from its 120mm main gun within a more economical package that promotes amplified mobility. Despite its excellent and well-thought out qualities, it appears that the V90120-T has not secured any quantitative production orders to date. The vehicle is manufactured under the BAE Systems Hagglunds label and the well-known CV90 family of vehicles includes a 105mm-armed light tank version, a dedicated anti-aircraft defense vehicle and other battlefield-specific vehicles, some of which have already seen proven combat action in the NATO-led Afghanistan campaigns.
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.
Power for the CV90120-T is supplied by a single Scania V-8 series 4-cycle diesel engine of 670 horsepower running at 2,375rpm and installed in a rear-set compartment. This allows the vehicle to reach road speeds of approximately 43 miles per hour out to 415 miles of range. The automatic transmission allows for four forward speeds and two reverse speeds, the latter reaching up to 25 miles per hour. The CV90120 can manage slopes of up to 60% and side slopes of 40%. It can further climb vertical obstacles 1 meter in height and ford 1.5 meters of water. Suspension is made possible by a torsion bar arrangement featuring rotary dampers.
The base CV90120-T product includes several crew-friendly measures and comforts such as air conditioning (for hot temperature operation), NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) protection, integrated fire extinguishing systems (to help protect both crew and tank from ammunition explosions) and integrated communications suites for both inter-crew and external dialoging with other tanks and governing commanders. A high-speed data bus handles the onboard network.
The 120mm L/50 Compact Tank Gun (CTG) smoothbore main gun armament sits at the front center of the electrically-driven turret along with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun (left of main gun) for anti-infantry defense. An optional 12.7mm heavy machine gun for anti-aircraft defense and engagement of light armored vehicles is also available, this mounted along the turret roof at the commander's hatch. A large fume extractor is identified at the main gun's middle section and its muzzle end is perforated and lacks a noticeable brake of any sort. The turret allows for a full 360-degree traversal which gives the CV90120-T crew complete access to target engagement at any perceived angle. There are 45 projectiles reserved for the 120mm main gun and thousands of rounds of ammunition for the machine guns. 12 120mm rounds are "ready to fire" while 33 are stored about the turret and hull. As with any modern tank system, the main gun of the CV90120-T is digitally stabilized along two axis for accurate firing "on the move" and engagements can take place in day or night settings. The gun is further cleared to fire all known NATO-standard projectiles of 120mm caliber. Rate-of-fire is estimated to be as high as 12 to 14 rounds per minute while the action is semi-automatic in its design. The gunnery crew has access to a laser range finder as well as a thermal night channel.