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Sweden confirms Stridsvagn 122 tanks deployment in Ukraine

On September 21, 2023, the Swedish Ministry of Defense officially confirmed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have received ten Stridsvagn 122 tanks. This development follows the decision, made on February 24, 2023, to donate these tanks to Ukraine. Preparations for this donation, including the training of Ukrainian personnel in the operation of Swedish tanks, were already underway at the Army Staff in Enköping.
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Sweden donated ten Stridsvagn 122 to Ukraine (Picture source Sweden MoD)

The training of Ukrainian tank crews coincided with Sweden's largest armed forces exercise in three decades, which also involved a group of conscripts undergoing full basic education. This comprehensive training program required careful planning and dedication from the personnel serving as instructors, ultimately proving to be successful, especially given the initial language barrier. Additionally, specialized training was provided to mechanics to ensure the proper maintenance of these tanks, contributing to their effective operation.

The Stridsvagn 122 (Strv 122), also known as the Leopard 2A5SE, is a Swedish Main Battle Tank (MBT) based on the German Leopard 2A5. It was developed as a result of collaboration between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), a German defense company, and Hägglunds, a Swedish defense company (now part of BAE Systems). Strv 122 was introduced into the Swedish Armed Forces in the late 1990s.

The Strv 122 MBT features several enhancements over the original Leopard 2A5 to meet the specific requirements of the Swedish military including a new armor package and advanced command and control systems.

The Strv 122 tank has additional modular armor on the turret and hull, providing increased protection against anti-tank weapons and mines. It has a spall liner inside the crew compartment to reduce the risk of injuries from fragmentation, and an improved fire suppression system.

The Strv 122 MBT is armed with a 120mm smoothbore gun, capable of firing a variety of ammunition types, including armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS), high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT), and high-explosive (HE) rounds. It also has a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and a 7.62mm anti-aircraft machine gun. The tank is powered by a 1,500 hp. diesel engine, providing a top speed of around 68 km/h and a range of approximately 550 km.


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