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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

Country of origin 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 mm, 2 000 x 7.62 mm
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

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M-90 Vihor

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M-90 Vihor

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