The CV90120 is the most powerful variant of the CV90 series, and one of the most respectable light tanks available today with a 120mm smoothbore gun.

The Combat Vehicle 90 or CV90, is not the name of a tank or an armored vehicle, but the name of a family of armored vehicles built on the CV90 chassis. The CV90 itself is a weapon project developed by the Swedish branch of BAE Systems during the Cold War, served in the country’s army since the mid-1990s, and has been proven in combat in Afghanistan.

Each version of the CV90 has a certain difference, the active and passive defense systems along with the electronics are modified to match the firepower it carries. The CV90120 is the most powerful variant of the CV90 series, and one of the most respectable light tanks available today with a 120mm smoothbore gun. The test phase was completed in 2001, but further improvements in a number of areas continued, especially electronics.

On January 13, 2023, Swedish company BAE Systems published a video showing the firepower and mobility of its CV90120 light tank. The tank has firepower comparable to that of an MBT but with a combat weight of fewer than 40 tons, providing superior maneuverability. The CV90120 is equipped with a fully stable 120mm Swiss Ordnance low-recoil smoothbore gun compatible with modern NATO ammunition. A total of 45 rounds are carried with maximum rate of fire is up to 14 rounds per minute.

As a light tank, the CV90120 is easier to transport by military transport aircraft than an MBT. It also has a much lower cost than traditional tanks. At half the weight of a standard MBT, the CV90120’s fuel consumption and component wear are significantly lower. The CV90120 is also more versatile on the battlefield than a traditional tank. The low ground pressure, rubber tracks and active damping enables the CV90120 to move to wherever it is needed and face any threat on the battlefield. The vehicle is equipped with a Scania DI16 turbocharged diesel engine, with a capacity of 670 horsepower, for a maximum speed of up to 70 km/h, a maximum range of 600 km.

Modular armor of the CV90120 can be configured to various levels of protection. Additional passive armor package can be fitted. It is speculated that the front arc with add-on armor protects against 30 mm armor-piercing discarding sabot rounds. All-round protection is against 14.5 mm armor-piercing projectiles. Furthermore explosive reactive armor can be fitted for even higher level of protection.

Survivability of the CV90120 light tank is further enhanced by the tank’s Defensive Aids Suite, including laser, radar and missile approach warning systems, multi-spectral aerosol active countermeasures system. A top attack radar can identify precision guided anti-tank munitions. Furthermore vehicle’s design has some certain stealth features.

Currently, India, the United States, and other countries have launched an acquisition program to have a light tank such as the MPF program of the U.S. Army. The Philippines has selected the Israeli Sabrah Light Tank and the first copies of which were recently delivered to the Philippine army. CV90120 is expected to be a good candidate in the light tank market.


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