Hispano-Suiza HS.30 mit 9cm Panzerabwehrkanone 57. Swiss cold war light tank

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caid’s suggestion #56

I would like to suggest a rather unique tank, the Swiss Hispano-Suiza HS.30 mit 9cm Panzerabwehrkanone 57 or just HS 30

The HS.30 mit 9cm Panzerabwehrkanone 57 was a private venture made by Hispano-Suiza in 1958. the tank was a light tank version of the HS.30 which was produced for Germany as the Spz 12-3. trying to go in competition with Hotchkiss who offered a light tank for reconnaissance called the Spz 11-2, Hispano-Suiza created a light tank that could carry more firepower and engage armored targets as well as be used for reconnaissance. the chassis was heavily modified to accommodate a larger turret armed with a 90mm gun. the tank lost its capacity to carry passengers. the German was not interested in this tank as the Spz 12-3 proved to be a terrible vehicle for maintenance and reliability. besides, the French Hotchkiss also offered a 90mm armed version of the Spz 11-2 which was trialed by Germany but not adopted because they were just not needing more firepower.

the HS.30 was at the same time offered to Switzerland was developing the Scorpion to provide the Swiss alpine terrain with a light reconnaissance vehicle with fire-support capacity. In this role, the HS.30 was pretty much perfect but was not adopted (or any of his competitors) because they saw no need to have a light tank. at least 2 of them were built. one of the prototypes was abandoned but still exists but rusting away. it is still in a state where it’s possible to restore it but probably not to a working condition. armament was removed and the tank can be found in Chamblon in Switzerland.



the main armament of this tank is a 90 mm Panzerabwehrkanone 57 which is a low-pressure anti-tank gun. similar to the Cockerill Mk.III or the 90mm D.921 gun uses HEAT round to allow it to get high penetration. the gun by itself is an evolution of the Panzeradwehrkanone 50 but with a new cartridge with more propellant and more pressure. yet the projectile is identical on both guns. this allows the gun to have a velocity of 650 m/sec. the HEAT round allows a penetration of 250 mm which is fairly decent. Besides the firepower, the turret was also pretty flexible to make it adapted to the alpine terrain. with a depression of -15° which allows it to be used easily in uneven terrain such as mountains. the elevation is also pretty good with +23° which allows it to fire high to the peaks. the gun also features a decent fire rate of 10 rounds/minute. the turret rotation is unknown but should be around 14°/sec which is not impressive. the ammunition carried is unknown and I would not place any guesses there. the turret also features a 12.7 mm coaxial machine gun that was used as a rangefinder.


The mobility of this tank is pretty good. with a top speed of 60 km/h forward and even a reverse speed of 16 km/h, this tank would be pretty comfortable on any terrain. the weight reaching 13.5 tonnes is pretty light too. the engine is a Rolls-Royce B81 Mk 80F 8-cylinder petrol providing up to 240 hp. this gives the tank a maximal power/weight of 17.78 hp/ton. this makes the tank a fairly agile vehicle that would have little difficulty moving around the battlefield.



the armour of this tank is not extreme but still has decent armor. with 30mm on the frontal arc, the tank can take HMG fire and even auto-cannon on the frontal arc. the side and read are less protected but still have enough protection against Shrapnel and LMG. The tank is rather small, about the size of the M24 Chaffee (without the roof LMG). the tank also features 6x smoke discharger which is placed on the turret side. those smoke can be launched in pairs to allow 3x smoke screen. the crew of 4 men includes 3 men in the turret and one at the front of the hull.

High-definition photo of the tank taken in 2011


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Similar to the Ru 251. Cool! +1