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Discover BAE Systems CV90120 light tank offering firepower of tank with a weight of fewer than 40 tons

On January 13, 2023, Swedish company BAE Systems Hägglunds Örnsköldsvik published a video showing the firepower and mobility of its CV90120 light tank. In the CV90 family, BAE Systems has developed a concept of a light tank version that is armed with a 120 mm high-pressure low-recoil smoothbore gun offering firepower and mobility of a Main Battle Tank (MBT) but with a combat weight of fewer than 40 tons.
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BAE Systems light tank concept armed with a 120mm cannon. (Picture source BAE Systems)

Several armies in the world have now requested a new generation of a light tank that offers the firepower of a Main Battle Tank but with a weight between 30 and 35 tons, much lower than the weight of a conventional tank which varies between 60 and 70 tons.

The CV90120 has been developed by BAE Systems to meet a specific demand of modern armed forces to have the firepower comparable to an MBT (Main Battle Tank), in a lighter, more mobile vehicle. This type of combat vehicle is more easily transported by military transport aircraft than an MBT.

The CV90120’s capabilities also come at a much lower cost than traditional tanks. With half the weight of standard tanks, the CV90120’s fuel consumption and component wear is significantly lower.

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. Recently, General Dynamics Land Systems announced that its Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) offering has been chosen by the U.S. Army through a competitive process to provide enhanced firepower for Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs).

The MPF is considered by the U.S. Army as a fire support armored vehicle but the design could be associated with a light tank. Indeed, the MPF is based on a tracked chassis with the driver at the front and a three-man turret armed with one 105mm gun.

The Philippines has selected the Israeli Sabrah Light Tank and the first copies of which were recently delivered to the Philippine army.

Discover BAE Systems CV90120 light tank offering firepower of tank with a weight of fewer than 40 tons 925 002
The BAE Systems CV90120 light tank offers the firepower and mobility of a conventional Main Battle Tank with a weight of fewer than 40 tons, compared to 60 - 70 tons for a tank. (Picture source BAE Systems).

With its lightweight design, the CV90120 is more maneuverable on the battlefield than traditional tanks, yet can still match them in terms of firepower. The tank gun is a powerful main weapon that allows the lightweight CV90120 to contend with any contemporary threat. Several 120 mm gun options exist.

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 CV90120, at 26 to >40 tones has the same high operational tempo as the rest of the CV90 family.

The CV90120 also has a state-of-the-art ADAPTIV cloaking system, which works to keep the vehicle hidden from potential threats by altering its thermal signature. This, and the vehicle’s other defensive systems, ensures the CV90120’s crew survivability against modern-day battlefield threats.

The design of the CV90120 is conventional with the driver at the front left side of the hull with the power pack on its right and a two-man turret. The vehicle has a weight of fewer than 40 tons.

The CV90120 is armed with a 120 mm high-pressure low-recoil smoothbore gun able to fire all the standard NATO 120mm ammunition. The vehicle carries a total of 45 rounds.

In terms of protection, the all-welded steel hull of the CV 90120 is almost identical to the family of CV90 tracked armored vehicles family, but it can be fitted with additional armor according to mission requirements. Over the frontal arc, the CV 90120 hull and turret provide protection against 30 mm armor-piercing attacks while the other part of the vehicle provides protection against 12.7 mm armor-piercing attacks all around.

The CV90120 is powered by a turbocharged diesel engine developing 670 hp. It can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 600 km.

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