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Russian army destroys Ukrainian Strv 122 tank with missile strike.

| 2023

In a tweet from 2S7 Pion, it is evident that Ukraine has lost a Leopard 2 tank, specifically the Strv 122 variant, during a missile strike by Russian forces. This incident, which occurred during an offensive on Russian positions at Orlyanske, is not an isolated event. In fact, this is the sixth loss of this kind within a week, bringing the total loss to nearly 20% of the Leopard 2 tanks that Ukraine received as donations from its NATO allies. To further support Ukraine in this conflict, Germany has promised to send 14 additional Leopard 2A4 tanks next year.
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Destruction of one Ukrainian Strv 122 Main Battle Tank (Picture source: Twitter Account of 2S7 pion)

The situation in Ukraine continues to evolve, especially given the military challenges faced by the 21st Mechanized Brigade of the Ukrainian Army. This unit, although robust and determined, has suffered significant setbacks in its combat engagements.

The vicinity of the borders of Kharkiv and Luhansk oblasts has been the scene of many confrontations. In one of these battles, an anti-tank missile, likely a 60-pound Kornet, targeted the Strv 122, hitting its turret, a vulnerable part of the tank. Despite the severity of the impact, the crew survived.

Last month, other tanks from this brigade were damaged, primarily due to mines and drone attacks. During the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the brigade's base, photographs revealed that although these tanks were damaged, most of the damage was superficial. Thanks to their additional composite armor, these tanks can withstand minor attacks but remain vulnerable to heavier weapons.

The situation is even more concerning as the 21st Brigade operates with a reduced number of tank companies compared to other Ukrainian brigades. Sweden, which previously supplied the Strv 122s, appears unwilling to send more due to its limited stocks. This might force the brigade to adopt a different type of tank, likely less armored than the Strv 122.

The Stridsvagn 122, commonly known as Strv 122, is a main battle tank of Swedish and German origin. It was commissioned in 1997 and remains in service today. Two notable armies using it are the Swedish and Ukrainian armies. This tank has also been deployed during the Russo-Ukrainian war.

The Strv 122 was produced between 1994 and 2002. It was manufactured by two major companies: Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, producing 29 chassis, and Land Systems Hägglunds AB, responsible for producing 91 chassis. In total, 120 of these tanks were built. There are two main variants of the Strv 122: the Strv 122A, with 110 chassis produced, and the Strv 122B, with 10 chassis.

Technically, the Strv 122 is an impressive machine. Weighing 62.5 tons, it measures nearly 10 meters in length, 3.75 meters in width, and 3 meters in height. It is designed to accommodate a crew of four. Protection is provided by a third-generation composite armor, including high-hardness steel, tungsten, and a plastic fill with a ceramic component.

Its primary weapon is a smoothbore Rheinmetall L44 120 mm cannon, capable of carrying 42 rounds. For secondary armament, it is equipped with two Ksp m/94 machine guns of 7.62x51mm NATO caliber and four GALIX smoke grenade launchers. Under the hood, the Strv 122 is powered by a liquid-cooled V-12 MTU MB 873 Ka-501 diesel engine, boasting an impressive 1,500 PS at 2,600 rpm. This gives it a power-to-weight ratio of 24.19 PS/t. It also has a Renk HSWL 354 transmission and a torsion bar suspension. With a ground clearance of 540 mm and a fuel capacity of 1,200 liters, it can travel 550 km on its internal fuel and reach a top speed of 68 km/h.

The conflict in Ukraine continues to draw international attention, and the loss of heavy military equipment like the Leopard 2 tanks underscores the severity of the situation on the ground. Peace and diplomatic efforts must be intensified to prevent further losses and hope for a peaceful resolution to this prolonged conflict.


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