The RO2004 light tank was a vehicle designed by a Royal Ordnance PLC/BAE consortium in the late 80s as part of the FFLAV programme (Future Family of Light Armoured Vehicles) conducted by the British government. The RO design was modular: the hull design remained the same across all 4 vehicles designed (2001-2004). It’s important however to note that the RO2004 never reached a full prototype stage. The hull was built, and the turret and armament were built and displayed separately, but they were never mated. This still constitutes a worthy suggestion by Gaijin’s criteria, which is why I’m writing this!
The RO2000 hull was made of steel, and had a 320hp engine at the front. In total, the hull weighed 13.5 tonnes and was very small, measuring 6.2 x 2.8 metres (length x width). As seen in the image, the vehicle had 5 double road wheels on either side, with a torsion bar suspension. With the RO2004 turret, the vehicle weighed 21.5 tonnes and could reach a top speed of 55km/h.
The RO2004 turret had a standard shape, and housed a new version of the L7 105mm gun firing the standard British/NATO ammunition. The gun was called the Improved Weapon System (IWS). It has been seen tested on various Leopard 1s (German Leopard 1 and 1A5, and a Canadian Leopard C1) with its’ distinct muzzle-break, and comes with a new APFSDS round – named the ‘T-2-series’ – offering penetration of around 540mm at 2000m. According to Army Guide, the round “weighs a total of 19 kg and is 1.03 m long with a muzzle velocity of 1,420 m/s.” The RO2004 also housed a bustle-mounted autoloader, resulting in a presumed high ROF. The turret also had the option of installing thermal imagers for the gunner.
The RO2004 came with new Royal Ordnance dynamic armour, which was, essentially, a mix of a laminated plate and ERA, which would offer added protection from kinetic and chemical rounds. Conventional ERA would be added on top for even more protection. I would love to find some more information about the ERA, specifically what kind of protection it offers, so if anyone has anything it would be greatly appreciated!
Dynamic armour info:
“…Royal Ordnance patent describing the Dynamic Armor system on a conceptual level. The ERA blocks are incorporated into recesses in a cast armor body applied outside the main body of the vehicle. Each ERA block has a layer of steel in front of it, and behind it is a “shock-attenuating” material or more steel. What this means is that the ERA would be more similar to Kontakt-5 or Relikt than something like ROMOR-A, as it offers protection against both chemical and kinetic energy penetrators. Then the penetrator has to be able to go through a layer of armor and its backing material which would dissipate any fragments before it could hit and enter the hull.”
– from @Headnaught in the old thread
After the addition of the Challenger 2E to the British tree with the update Sky Guardians, Britain has multiple capable top-tier MBTs. However, Britain does lack in other top tier vehicles, which is why I believe this should be added as an end-of-the-line tech tree light tank, as it is in all ways better than the VFM-5. I am advocating for its implementation with thermals and all bells and whistles, alongside an optional ERA module (increased weight and protection vs increased mobility), at a potential BR of 10.3/7, given its high penetration round (very similar penetration to the CV90120’s slpprj m/95 APFSDS round but with a 105mm damage model instead of a 120mm). Not much information is around for this vehicle, but I believe Gaijin could definitely get more information that I do not have access to. Hope you agree!
Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.81 x 2.41 m
Weight: 21.5 tonnes
Engine: TV8-640, 320hp
Power/weight: 14.8 hp/tonne
Top speed: 55km/h
Primary Armament: 1x L7 105mm IWS
Muzzle Velocity: 1,420 m/s
Secondary Armament: 1x 7.62mm
Ammo capacity: >30 rounds main gun, 2000 MG rounds
Extra: LRF, Thermals, Night Vision
Crew: 3 (Commander, gunner, driver)
RO2004 side-profile technical drawing
RO2004 sales brochure
RO2000 series hull side profile
RO2003 on a Royal Ordnance brochure
RO2003 built prototype
105mm IWS mounted on a Leopard 1 (note the distinct muzzle break)
Tank Encyclopedia’s render of the RO2004
Army Guide - 105mm IWS