Work on the Strb 90H project began in the late eighties, when the command of the Swedish Navy announced a competition for the creation of a new light multipurpose boat, designed to replace navy obsolete Tpbs 200. Among the requirements for a promising boat were indicated maximum dimensions and displacement (not more than 20 tons), as well as the possibility of using as a landing vehicle to deliver to the shore half of a platoon of marine corps (21 people). Several shipbuilding companies filed their bids, and in 1988 the Swedish Navy announced the winner. The project presented by Dockstavarvet was recognized as the most interesting and promising. A year after the signing of the project development contract, two prototype boats were built at the shipyard.
Tests of two experienced boats continued for several months. In the course of these works, it was possible to identify and quickly eliminate almost all the existing shortcomings. Modified and finished boat completely satisfied the customer. In June 1990, the new boat was officially adopted by the Swedish Navy under the designation Stridsbåt 1990 Halv pluton or abbreviated Strb 90H (“Combat boat of the model 1990 of the year, designed to carry half a platoon”). With the expectation of export deliveries, the new multi-purpose boat received an English-language name - Combat Boat 90 or CB90, which is a partial translation of the original name. Over time, this designation was officially used in relation to the boats of the Swedish Navy.
When developing the Strb 90H boat, the need to combine in one design simplicity of production, seaworthiness, high speed characteristics, as well as the required capacity, were taken into account. The basis for solving this technical problem was the widespread use of aluminum. Almost the whole construction of the boat is made of this metal and its alloys. The hull, formed by an aluminum frame and cladding, has a length of 14,9 meter over the waterline (15,9 m full) and a width of 3,85. Draft - 0,8 meter. It is noteworthy that with such dimensions, the Strb 90H turned out to be quite light: its displacement does not exceed 18 tons. The hull of the boat has characteristic lines for this class of equipment.
To facilitate the performance of landing tasks, the bow and the bottom of the boat are reinforced and equipped with a lowered ladder. In the raised position, the ladder forms the nose of a characteristic chopped shape. In the middle part of the boat there is a wheelhouse with crews of two people. The cabin has a light anti-fragmentation booking. Immediately behind it is an armored compartment for the transport of troops. Half of the Marine Corps platoon (21 man) can land and leave the boat through the stern or through the bow ramp. In the latter case, they pass through the wheelhouse and fall into a small corridor between it and the nasal ladder. For convenience, the corridor at the top is covered with a double hatch, which opens when disembarking. The stern part of the Strb 90H boat is designed in such a way that any necessary equipment can be mounted on it, from weapons or cargo to a lightweight additional cabin. In the cargo hold or at the stern, you can place up to 4,5 tons of cargo.
At the rear of the boat hull are two Scania DSI14 V8 diesel engines with 625 horsepower of hp. The engines supply torque to two Rolls-Royce Kamewa FF water jets. With such a power plant, the Strb 90H boat can accelerate to 40 nodes. The cruising range in economy mode (20 nodes) is 240 miles, which is enough to perform most of the tasks facing boats of this class. Used water cannons have an interesting feature: they are able to work even with incomplete filling of the canal with water. This allows the boat to perform complex maneuvers with a large roll.
Armament of the boat Strb 90H is installed in accordance with the wishes of the customer. So, boats for the Swedish naval forces were completed with three large-caliber machine guns M2HB. One of them was mounted on a ring turret on the roof of the troop compartment, the other two - on the tank, in front of the helmsman’s workplace. If necessary, automatic grenade launchers, guided missiles, etc. can be mounted on boats of this type. In the basic version, the Strb 90H is also capable of transporting and using sea mines or depth charges. To reset them at the stern, there are two guides.
The first Strb 90H multifunctional boats were transferred to the Swedish Navy in the 1991 year. In total, for the needs of their fleet, the Swedes collected about two hundred of such boats, the construction of which went in three series: 1 (1991-1992 years), 2 (1993-1996) and 2B (1996-1997). The boats of different series differed slightly from each other by the equipment and technologies used in construction. Most of the boats were assembled in the basic version, taking into account the modifications of one or another series, and a certain amount was altered to perform special tasks. So the following modifications appeared:
- Strb 90L (Ledning - “Management”). Commander version of the boat, designed to control the actions of the battalion of the Marine Corps. It has a number of special control and communication equipment, and is also equipped with an additional generator supplying equipment with electric power;
- Strb 90KompL (Kompani-Ledning - "Company Management"). Another commander version, almost completely similar to the base boat. Equipped with equipment for command at the company level and an additional generator;
- Strb 90HS - option to work at a great distance from the bases. It differs from the base boat by enhanced armor, climate system, an additional generator and new, more powerful engines, compensating for the increased weight of the structure. The rest is similar to Strb 90H;
- Strb 90 Polis - police version, adapted for long patrols. In the former troop compartment is located a supply of food and space for the rest of the crew;
- rescue boat with a pressure chamber designed to rescue submariners. The official designation is unknown, at least one such boat has been built;
- search and rescue option for SSRS. Not armed, but equipped with a set of rescue and medical equipment.
As you can see, the design of the base boat Strb 90H allowed to use it as a basis for equipment of various purposes. Probably, this fact attracted the attention of foreign military. Currently, export versions of the boat under the common name CB90 serve in six countries. The first customer of the boats was Norway, especially for which the SB90N (Strb 90N) modification was developed. The letter N in the title is short for Norsk utgave - “Norwegian version”.
Two dozen boats SB90N in the version for Norway in general are similar to the base model, but differ from it by several nuances of design and equipment. Thus, the Norwegian boats have a higher troop compartment, allowing fighters to stand at full height, as well as two new compartments in the nose. In the latter are located the toilet and the storage capacity for various equipment or weapons. Also, boats SB90N received a new navigation system based on the GPS system and a number of other electronic systems. To provide electronics with energy, an additional generator had to be installed on the export boats. Finally, the Norwegian version of the Strb 90H lost two machine guns in the bow, and also received a new drive for the anchor winch. Last moved to the stern. There is information about the conversion of a Norwegian boat in the sanitary version.
In 2004, Norway attempted to significantly increase the combat potential of its SB90N boats. A machine gun turret was removed from one of them, and in its place a part of the equipment of the Hellfire missile complex was installed. The stabilized launcher was executed on the base of a turret with a remote control for ground equipment M151 Protector and placed on the stern of the boat. The test launches were successful, but soon the project was apparently closed. There are no new reports about Norway’s plans to equip SB90N launches with guided missiles. Most likely, the Norwegian Navy refused this idea.
In 1998, a new contract followed, in accordance with which the shipyard Dockstavarvet built and transferred to Greece three boats in the CB90HCG version (HGC - Hellenic Coastal Guard, “Greek Coast Guard”). In its main features, this version of the boat resembled the version for the Norwegian Navy, but differed in the set of electronic equipment. The boats of the SB90N or CB90 project, after minor modifications, were also delivered to Malaysia (17 units in two versions), Mexico (48 units) and Brazil (no more than 10). All countries that bought Swedish boats use them for patrol purposes, as well as for transportation of various cargoes.
Perhaps the most interesting contract for the construction of boats CB90 for a foreign customer was signed with the United States. After the war in Iraq, in the middle of the last decade, the US Navy decided to rebuild their river units. As a result of this decision, the 2006-I River Group (1st Riverine Group or RIVGRU 1) appeared in 1 as part of the Naval Expeditionary Military Command (NECC). As a part of this division, three river divisions (Riverine Squadrons - RIVRON) were soon formed with numbers from 1-th to 3-th. Since the first months of 2007, the RIVGRU 1 divisions have been operating on the rivers of Iraq.
Immediately after the creation of new units, the question arose of their technical equipment. For several months, river group fighters had to use ordinary motorboats and light boats, which did not always meet the requirements. In this regard, the American command, having become interested in Swedish multipurpose boats, initiated the purchase of a license for their production. Already in the first half of 2007, SAFE Boats agreed with Dockstavarvet on the licensed construction of CB90 boats at its production facilities. This was followed by the signing of a contract for the construction of two boats with a total value of 4,8 million dollars. The trial operation of the first licensed CB90 began in the same 2007 year.
To date, SAFE Boats has supplied the RIVGRU 1 with six CB90 boats adopted by the division under the new name RCB - Riverine Command Boat (“River Control Boat”). Each river division has at its disposal two RCB boats and 16 small boats of two types. The personnel of each RIVGRU is 224 person.
According to several sources, the American company SAFE Boat has acquired a license to build a slightly upgraded version of the CB90 boat. The most noticeable change in this case is the composition of the onboard armament. As can be seen from the available photographs, RCB boats lost their front-mounted machine guns, but more than compensated for this. In addition to the machine gun M2HB, American boats received a whole range of different weapons on the ring turret. On different boats, different combinations of M2HB large-caliber machine guns (including twin ones), 7,62-millimeter M60 and six-barreled M134 Minigun are installed. Thus, the firepower of the boat, without any special tricks, has grown significantly. Now he is able to fight with manpower and various enemy enemy light watercrafts, which can be his goal.
At present, nearly three hundred Strb 90H boats and their modifications are operated in six countries of the world. The construction of this type of equipment continues, but for obvious reasons, the pace has significantly decreased in comparison with the first years of production. Nevertheless, these boats continue to be the main light watercraft of the Swedish Navy, designed to perform a wide range of tasks. Over the past two decades, Strb 90H has shown its capabilities and modernization potential, as well as export prospects. Over the next few years, boats of this type will continue to serve in the Navy of several countries, and in the list of buyers there may be new states in need of an easy, maneuverable and convenient for operation boat.
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