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Ukrainian Soldiers Consider Swedish STRV 122 Among Best Tanks for Its High Accuracy

In a recent video report released by Ukrainian media on December 27, 2023, the Swedish STRV 122 (Stridsvagn 122) Main Battle Tank, an upgraded version of the German Leopard 2A5, has been highlighted for its exceptional combat performance against Russian forces. The report showcases the tank's remarkable accuracy, detailing its ability to hit targets at distances up to 3.8 kilometers with high precision on the first shot. Currently, the STRV 122 is deployed with Ukraine's 21st Separate Mechanized Brigade, playing a pivotal role in their ongoing military engagements.
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The Swedish STRV 122 Main Batlle Tank is in service with the Ukrainian army since several weeks. (Picture source Twitter account

Sweden has delivered ten Stridsvagn 122 tanks to Ukraine. These tanks, known as one of the best tanks in the world, are now actively used on the battlefield in Ukraine. The Stridsvagn 122 is essentially a modified version of the German Leopard 2A5 tank, and it has been a core part of the Swedish mechanized brigades for over three decades. This donation was decided on the anniversary of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2023.

The Ukrainian crews operating these tanks were trained in Sweden, with the Swedish Armed Forces providing extensive instruction and training. This training included interpreters from both Sweden and Ukraine to facilitate communication. The Swedish instructors noted the high level of motivation among both the Swedish instructors and the Ukrainian soldiers during this training period.

The Swedish Stridsvagn 122 (Strv 122) is an advanced version of the German Leopard 2A5 tank, featuring several key improvements. One of the most significant enhancements is the reinforced armor, which provides increased protection against anti-tank weaponry, ensuring better survivability on the battlefield. This includes the integration of non-explosive reactive armor (NERA) for effective shielding against various shell types, and additional composite screens for turret top protection.

The Strv 122 also boasts a sophisticated Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) defense system, enhancing crew safety in diverse combat environments. The tank's wading capability, allowing it to navigate waters up to 1.4 meters deep, ensures maintained mobility and adaptability.

In terms of targeting and communication, the Strv 122 integrates laser rangefinders, thermographic cameras, and precision calculators for elevated targeting precision. It can track multiple targets simultaneously, enhancing combat efficiency. Improved inter-unit coordination is facilitated through active communication systems, allowing for seamless teamwork.

The Tank Command & Control System (TCCS), developed by Celsius Tech Systems AB, further augments the Strv 122's command and control capabilities, optimizing decision-making processes.

The Stridsvagn 122 (Strv 122) main armament consists of a 120 mm Rheinmetall L/44 smoothbore gun which is the same as that used in the original Leopard 2 series. This gun is capable of firing a range of specialized ammunition. This includes armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds, which are designed for anti-armor engagement. These rounds use a penetrator typically made of dense materials like tungsten or depleted uranium to effectively pierce through modern armor. The gun can also fire high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds, which are versatile and effective against both armored and softer targets. HEAT rounds operate by detonating an explosive charge to create a high-velocity metal jet that can penetrate armor. This diversity in ammunition types allows tanks equipped with the Rheinmetall L/44 to engage a wide range of targets effectively under different combat conditions.

The second armament of the Strv 122 tank includes one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and a 7.62mm anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the turret roof, providing supplementary firepower for close encounters and against aerial targets.

In terms of mobility, the Strv 122 is powered by a robust MTU MB-873 Ka-501 12-cylinder liquid-cooled diesel engine, which delivers 1,500 horsepower. This engine, coupled with an effective suspension system and transmission, enables the tank to achieve a maximum road speed of approximately 68 km/h (42 mph), allowing for rapid and agile movement across various terrains. The tank's sophisticated suspension system contributes to its stability and maneuverability, enhancing its operational effectiveness in diverse environments. Additionally, the Strv 122's wading capability allows it to cross water obstacles up to 1.4 meters deep, maintaining its mobility and effectiveness. Its operational range is also notable, with the ability to travel up to about 550 km (340 miles) on internal fuel, providing considerable endurance for extended missions.

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