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The vehicle’s history:
The end of World War II would not see the end of the M3 Stuart career, at the end of the 1960s, the Brazilian fleet of M3/M3A1 Stuart light tanks had critical availability items, of the more than 400 cars received, a large part was out of service due to problems obtaining replacement parts, most notably the engine components. In 1969, the army command received at the premises of the 1st BCCL (Combat Car Battalion) the visit of an Israeli delegation whose objective was the acquisition of old military platforms for conversion of new service versions. This intention would awaken the attention of Colonel Oscar de Abreu Paiva (commander of the 1st BCCL) to the possibilities of using the existing M3/M3A1 Stuart armored vehicles, with this motivation being reinforced by the delegation of that country who praised the exploration and modernization capabilities of tanks added to factors such as high availability, ease of maintenance, low operating cost and mainly lack of resources for the acquisition of modern tanks would impel initiatives aimed at developing studies for the implementation of a modernization program for the M3/ M3A1 Stuart.
The main goal with the program was the development of a new family of light tanks, by using the M3/M3A1 Stuart as its basis, since the country had them available in large numbers and as such was a low risk way to gain experience for more complicated projects in the future, for that the army would choose both companies Bernadini and Biselli to take on the program, with the finality of making a vehicle that would be up to the threads of their time by giving it improvements that were looked into, on top of the remotorization, new electrical systems, new instrument panels and a new improved armament that could deal against any future threats in the South America continent.
The CCL X1 is a light vehicle, it weighed 17 tonnes (18.7 US tons) and was 6.04 meters long including the gun, had a 5.04 meters long hull, 2.4 meters wide and 2.45 meters tall. It had a crew of four (driver, co-driver, gunner and commander/loader), with the driver located on the front left of the hull, the co-driver on the front right of the hull, the commander/loader on the left side of the turret and the gunner on the right side of the turret, also it stowed 18 rounds (in the turret) and an additional 10 rounds (in the hull), for a total of 28 rounds of 90 mm ammunition.
The BT-90A1 Turret :
The CCL X1 used the national made BT-90A1 turret, it was armored with thick steel plates at various angles to protect it from .50 caliber machine gun fire at 200 meters. The turret could mount a external .50 machine gun on the top of the turret and it also stores 18 rounds of 90mm ammunition.
The CCL X1 was armed with the French DEFA D-921 90 mm low-pressure gun (aka Giat Industries 90 mm F1 gun ) , it had a mount for a .50 machine gun on the left side of the turret in front of the commander’s cupola, it had a .30 coaxial machine gun and it fitted a .30 machine gun for the co-driver in the hull. In addition it could mount two smoke dischargers on both sides of the turret rear.
All Around: 25 mm
The hull of the CCL X1 was a lengthened and modified M3 or M3A1 Stuart hull. As such, the overall protection for most of the X1’s hull remained the same as that of the M3.
Front (Upper Glacis): 38 mm at 17 degrees
Front (Middle Glacis): 16 mm at 69 degrees
Front (Lower Glacis): 44 mm at 23 degrees
Sides (guess): 25 mm
Rear (guess): 25 mm
Top: 13 mm
Floor: 13 to 10 mm
The CCL X1 used the Scania-Vabis DS-11 A05 CC1 6-cylinder in-line 256 hp diesel engine. The engine produced 256 hp at 2,200 rpm with the vehicle receiving a horsepower per ton ratio of 15.1, giving the vehicle a top speed of 55 km/h on roads and an operational range of 520 kilometers.
The CCL X1 used a slightly altered VVS suspension system from 18-Ton High Speed Tractor M4, a two bogie on each side of the vehicle, each consisting of two rubber tired steel wheels held in brackets which oscillate on hinge pins in the bracket that is bolted to the hull. The suspension also gave to the vehicle a ground pressure of 0.59 kg/cm2 an on-ground track length of about 3.22 meters and it could cross a trench of 1.2 meters.
CCL X1 Technical Sheet:
Crew: 4 (Driver, Co-driver, Commander/Loader and Gunner)
Total Weight: 17 Tons (18.7 US Tons)
Length (including the gun): 6.04 meters
Width: 2.4 meters
Height: 2.45 meters
Suspension: Bogie Suspension
Turret ammunition stowage: 18
Hull ammunition stowage: 10
Armaments: The French DEFA D-921 90mm low-pressure gun , .50 machine gun, .30 coaxial machine gun and a .30 hull machine gun
Operational Range: 520 km
Ground pressure: 0.59 kg/cm2
On-ground track length: 3.22 meters
Trench cross: the vehicle could cross a trench of 1.2 meters
Maximum speed on the road: 55 km/h
Engine: Scania-Vabis DS-11 A05 CC1 6-cylinder in-line 256 hp diesel engine
Brazilian Stuart – M3, M3A1, X1, X1A2 and their Derivatives – Hélio Higuchi, Paulo Roberto Bastos Jr., Reginaldo Bacchi
Blindados no Brasil – Expedito Carlos Stephani Bastos
Janes Armour and Artillery Upgrades 2003-2004
Sir. Darren Hazes Article: CCL X1 Pioneiro - Tank Encyclopedia
TM 9-1785B War Department Technical Manual - Power Train Suspension and Equipment for 18-Ton High Speed Tractor M4 1944