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M-90 Vihor

Prototype main battle tank

M-90 Vihor

The M-90 Vihor never entered production due to the collapse of a unified Yugoslavia

Entered service -
Crew 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight ~ 44 t
Length (gun forward) ~ 9.74 m
Hull length ~ 6.8 m
Width ~ 3.75 m
Height ~ 2.21 m
Main gun 125-mm smoothbore
ATGW AT-8 Songster
Machine guns 1 x 12.7-mm, 1 x 7.62-mm
Elevation range - 6 to + 13 degrees
Traverse range 360 degrees
Ammunition load
Main gun 45 rounds
Machine guns 600 x 12.7, 2 000 x 7.62
Engine V46-TK1 diesel
Engine power 1 200 hp
Maximum road speed 72 km/h
Range 600 ~ 700 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 0.7 m
Trench 2.4 m
Fording 1.3 m
Fording (with preparation) 5 m


   Few details are available on the M-90 Vihor (Tornado). It is claimed to be an all-original, Yugoslav-designed main battle tank.

   The development of the Vihor began in the late 1980s, likely with the intent of building an MBT that could gradually supplement, and eventually supplant, the M-84 already in service. It was developed to the point where operational prototypes were built and tested, but the outbreak of the Yugoslav Civil War (and with it, the collapse of a unified Yugoslavia) effectively ended the project. Reportedly, only 2 Vihor prototypes were built.

   The M-90 Vihor is approximately 9.74 m long, 3.75 m wide, and 2.21 m tall, weighs 44 tonnes, and has 0.72 kg/cm2 of ground pressure. Its chassis strongly-resembles that of the T-72, but is topped with a totally new chevron-shaped turret with rounded edges. There are 6 roadwheels on each side.

   Propulsion is provided by a V46-TK1, a Diesel V12 engine with 1 200 hp. The transmission is the same as later used in the M-95 Degman, with 5 forward gears and 1 reverse gear. Its suspension and running gear are very similar to those of the T-72, and may in fact be derived from it. With 1 200 hp propelling only 44 tonnes, the M-90 Vihor has a surprisingly-high power/weight ratio of 27.27 hp/tonne; it has been claimed that the M-90 was the first tank in history to have achieved a p/w ratio this high, but this feature had already been seen on the Leopard 2A0, General Motors XM1, and Chrysler XM1. A snorkel is fitted as well, to allow for deep-water fording.

   The main gun of the M-90 Vihor is a Yugoslav-made smoothbore 125-mm gun, developed from the Soviet 2A46. It is claimed to be manufactured using novel materials and forging techniques, that allow for higher continuous rates of fire, and a longer tube life than the original 2A46. As with all smoothbore 125-mm guns, this weapon fires APFSDS, HEAT, and HE-FRAG rounds, and a gun-launched ATGM (likely the AT-8 Songster) capability was included as well. The automatic loader is all-original, and has been claimed by the developer to allow a 10 round-per-minute rate of fire. The replenisher is also an all-original model, said to contain 340 less components than the autoloaders used in the T-72 and M-84. Between the loader and the replenisher, a total of 45 rounds are carried. Secondary armament consists of an M86 7.62-mm coaxial machine gun, and an M87 "Coyote" 12.7-mm heavy machine gun on the roof.

   The electronics used in the M-90 Vihor are an improvement over the M-84 as well, with a thermal imaging system, laser rangefinder, and a digital ballistics computer as standard equipment. A hunter-killer capability via the TC's periscope was claimed as well.

   The armor appears to be similar to the composite type used in the M-84, and is known to contain a layer of nonmetallic material. Provisions for ERA are built into both the hull and turret. Given the outfitting of the earlier M-84, it is very likely that the M-90 was fitted with spall liners and an automatic carbon dioxide fire suppression system. Track skirts are fitted which are broader than those of the M-84, and do not taper toward the rear. The M-90 also has a collective NBC system.

   The unit cost of the M-90 Vihor is unknown.




   M-91 Vihor; possibly an alternate designation for the M-90, or a planned further development;

   M-92 Vihor; as with the M-91, the M-92 appears to be either a further development of the M-90, or an alternate designation for it (or, perhaps an export variant);

   M-95 Degman; a Croatian MBT developed from the M-90/91/92 Vihor.



   Article by BLACKTAIL

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M-90 Vihor

M-90 Vihor

M-90 Vihor

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