Combat Boat 90 (CB90) is a class of fast military assault craft originally developed for the Royal Swedish Navy by Dockstavarvet. In addition to the many variants in service with the Swedish Navy under the Strb 90 H designation, the CB 90 has been adopted by the navies of several countries, including Norway (as the S90N), Greece, Mexico (as the CB 90 HMN) and Malaysia.
The CB90 is an exceptionally fast and agile boat. It is light weight, shallow draught and twin water jets allow it to operate at speeds of up to in shallow coastal waters. The water jets are partially ducted, which, along with underwater control surfaces similar to a submarine's diving planes, allows the CB90 to execute extremely sharp turns at high speed, decelerate from top speed to a full stop in 2.5 boat lengths, and adjust its pitch and roll angle while under way.
In 1988, Dockstavarvet won a competition to design and manufacture a replacement for the aging Tpbs 200 class. Two prototypes, with pennant number 801 and 802, were delivered in 1989. After completion of field trials, the Swedish Navy signed a purchase order for 120 boats in June 1990.
The official Swedish Navy designation is Strb 90 H (Stridsbåt 1990 Halv pluton, literally: Combat Boat 1990 Half platoon); the H refers to the fact that it can carry and deploy a half platoon of amphibious infantry (21 men) fully equipped.
In 2002, the Swedish Navy ordered an additional 27 boats of a slightly different type, designated Strb 90 HS, and intended for deployment in overseas peace-keeping operations. It is unclear what the S refers to; it may be short for Skyddad (protected), as the Strb 90 HS is armored. Apart from the addition of armor, the HS model features NBC warfare protection (the whole boat can be over-pressurized), air-condition for deployment in tropical conditions, fuel cooling system, 220V generator and more powerful engines. The factory sometimes refers to it as the CB 90 HI, where the I probably stands for International.
The Royal Norwegian Navy evaluated the Strb 90 H in early 1996, and subsequently purchased a total of 20 boats, designated 90 N (for Norsk utgave, literally Norwegian version).
The German Water Police rented a Combat Boat 90H from the manufacturer Dockstavarvet for the 33rd G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany. This boat was involved in a high speed chase with three Greenpeace RIBs which were trying to enter the restricted area near the hotel where the meeting was being held. A video clip of the incident was later widely spread around the internet.
In July 2007 The United States Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) specified the CB90 for testing as its Riverine Command Boat. Safeboat International of Port Orchard, Washington, was given a US$2.8 million contract to produce one prototype.
Several Strb 90 H have been converted by the Swedish Navy to fill various roles:
The Royal Norwegian Navy operates 20 CB90s under the designation SB90N; the N simply stands for Norsk utgave (Norwegian version). The S90N differs from the Strb 90 H in a few areas:
At least one S90N has been reconfigured into a floating ambulance.
In 2004, the Royal Norwegian Navy conducted tests (including a live fire exercise) to evaluate the effectiveness of the SB90N as an aiming and launching platform for the Hellfire missile. One SB90N was equipped with stabilized Hellfire launcher based on the PROTECTOR M151, and its machine gun was replaced with a gimbal-mounted sensor package containing visible-light and infrared cameras and a laser designator. Although the tests were successful, there is currently no indication that the Royal Norwegian Navy will actually deploy SB90Ns armed with Hellfire missiles in regular service. The Hellfire can still be carried on the boats without launching platforms and be fired from shore with the Portable Ground Launch System.
On June 13, 2004, several Strb 90 H from the Swedish Navy's first amphibious regiment were sailing at high speed in convoy formation when one of them abruptly reduced speed (allegedly so its wake would not upset a smaller sailboat). The boat immediately behind it failed to react and rammed it. Two soldiers who were abovedeck at the time of the accident were thrown in the water; one was killed instantly, and the other sustained severe injuries from which he died later the same day.
In mid-1999, one CB90 (No. 820) belonging to the 2nd Coastal Artillery Regiment (KA2) of the Swedish Navy crashed into a concrete pier at approximately . There were eight soldiers on board; seven of these men sustained more or less severe injuries, including fractures, while one soldier who remained physically unhurt was standing in the machine gun ring-mount on mid-deck.
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