DSEI 2021: Saab’s Next Generation Combat Boat on the Thames

By David Oliver

Shown for the first time at DSEI 2021 outside of Sweden was Saab’s Combat Boat 90 New Generation (CB90 NG) fast assault craft.

Building on the previous generation of more than 250 boats operating worldwide, the CB90 was designed to swiftly project amphibious forces from the sea with supporting fire power. It features an extending bow ramp to enable the rapid deployment and extraction of troops from a beach or rocky shoreline. The CB90 has a new combat management system and sensors for surveillance, and new navigation and communications systems

Powered by two 600kW Scania diesel engines the CB90 NG can cruise at speeds of up to 45 kts with high manoeuvrability in shallow coastal waters. It can carry up to 18 fully equipped amphibious troops in its air conditioned cabin and a crew of two in a new NVG-compatible wheelhouse plus a systems operator.

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It is also equipped with five weapons mounts for large calibre machine guns, a Mk 19 grenade launcher, as well as Saab’s own Trackfire remote weapons station (RWS) which stabilised independent line of sight (SILOS) enables its weapons to fire with accuracy while the boat is on the move. It can be armed with naval mines and depth charges, and future options could include the M242 Bushmaster 25 mm chain gun, and anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

The all-aluminum CB90 NG offers a high degree of CBRN and ballistic protection thanks to lightweight polyethylene lining and safety glass.

In addition to its assault role, the boat could used for medevac, weapons supply, command and control and intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.

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Eighteen CB90 NGs will be delivered to the Swedish Navy by the end of this year, designated Docksta CB 90HSM, joining 147 earlier variants of the CB 90 that are in service.

Saab sees the CB90 NG as having potential applications with specialist military units such as the Royal Marines Future Commando Force and the Littoral Strike Groups.

Photos courtesy Saab © Jamie Hunter and David Oliver