- Yes, don’t care how
- Yes, as a researchable vehicle
- Yes, as a premium/squadron/event vehicle
- Belgian or BeNeLux tree
- French tree
- I said no
Welcome to another suggestion for a SIBMAS variant, this time we’ll be looking at the early version armed with the Scorpion 90 turret.
The SIBMAS first saw the light in 1975 as a private venture by B N Constructions Ferroviaires et Métalliques. As you might notice, the type resembles the South African Ratel APC, which is no coincidence. Both vehicles seem to be designed from a common ancestor. However, despite the resemblance, SIBMAS is very much a different vehicle with some nice extras. The first prototype was finished in 1976, this was tested extensively by the Belgian and Malaysian armed forces. This first prototype had been fitted with the turret of a Scorpion 90 vehicle. Unlike the second prototype (which was finished in 1979), this version still featured a weaker engine and more notably the driver’s position did not feature the big armored glass panels yet. The vehicle was already amphibious but did not feature propellers, which lead to a top speed in the water of only 5km/h. The same configuration would actually later be applied to the second prototype as well.
As mentioned before, the main armament of the vehicle consisted of a single 90mm Cockerill gun. This cannon was capable of firing HEAT, HESH, HE and canister ammunition types. Curiously enough this turret precedes production models of the Scorpion 90 vehicle by a couple of years, and unlike the latter probably lacks more advanced systems in the turret. The turret did however feature a coaxially mounted 7.62mm machine gun. Two men operated the turret, a commander/loader, and a gunner. Combined with the driver this brought the total required crew up to 3. The large space in the back of the vehicle allowed it to bring 9 extra troops on missions. A range of four smoke grenades discharger can be mounted to each side at the front of the turret. I’m not exactly sure what engine this first prototype used, but we do know that it is less powerful than the 320hp engine that the second prototype used. The worse engine probably didn’t affect the top speed of 100km/h, but undoubtedly did affect how long it took for the vehicle to get to that speed. The 15-16ton vehicle is very lightly armored, providing protection only against rounds of 7.62mm caliber and below.
- Mass: 15-16 ton
- Length: 7.32 m
- Width: 2.5 m
- Height: +/- 3m
- Crew: 3 (commander/loader, driver, gunner)
- Engine: currently unknown, produces less than 320hp.
- Power/weight: unknown, probably below 20hp/t
- Operational range: 1,000 km
- Maximum speed: 100 km/h
- 1x 90mm Cockerill Mk.III cannon.
- 1x coaxial 7.62mm machine gun.
This vehicle would play very similarly to the Ratel 90, offering a somewhat fast platform and a capable gun. It would be best used to flank the enemy and punish them from the side or spot them for your teammates. This is not the only SIBMAS variant to offer such capabilities (other suggestions will follow) so this vehicle could become researchable or premium/event/squadron without taking anything away from the researchable tree. The biggest question might be where it should go, obvious options are the proposed BeNeLux tree or a possible Belgian (sub) tree. It could also be added as a gap filler or premium in some other tree.