11 April 2009

Indonesia Upgrades With Scorpion's

11 Maret 1995

Indonesia has confirmed plans to purchase at least 50, and perhaps up to 90, Alvis Scorpion 90 light tanks and Stormer APCs from the UK at an undisclosed cost, writes John Haseman. Initial deliveries are due in October. The deal further includes a number of support vehicles, tank recovery vehicles, personnel training and spares (Jane's Defence Weekly 22 October 1994).

Alvis Scorpion : light tank (photo : Kaskus Militer)

The newly built Scorpions represent the first armoured vehicles to be acquired for the Indonesian Army since buying French-made AMX-13 light tanks from the Netherlands in the 1970s. The current inventory includes 125 AMX-13s and 30 Russian PT-76 light amphibious tanks, although many of both types are non-operational due to age. The acquisition appears to be part of the army's upgrading and modernization programme, with the new tanks likely to replace the AMX-13s in several phases.
Alvis Stormer : armoured personnel carrier (photo : Indoforce)

The diesel-engined Scorpion 90, which is the primary export variant, carries a 90 mm Cockerill Mk III gun. Its combat weight of just over8700 kg is about half that of the AMX-13 and makes it appropriate for Indonesia's road and bridge system, as well as its cross-country terrain.

Announcement of the Scorpion deal came soon after reports that Indonesia was considering purchasing up to 100 excess Leopard 1 MBTs from Germany. These are likely to be available at a bargain price, but the Leopard's combat weight at over six times that of the Scorpion, as well as its age, may have influenced the decision.


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