The American newspaper Forbes said that Ukraine lost two Strv122 tanks donated by Sweden at the same time, due to being destroyed by Russia’s Lancet UAV at the Kreminna front.
Meanwhile, the field at Rabotino had become a cemetery for Western armored vehicles. According to Forbes, the Ukrainian Army lost 1/5 of its Stridsvagn 122 (Strv122) tanks in one battle.
Strv122 is considered one of the most reliable tanks in the Ukrainian Army today. The problem is that the Swedes only supplied Ukraine with 10 Stridsvagn 122 tanks; This is a modification of the German Leopard 2A6 tank for Sweden. These tanks are assigned to the 21st Mechanized Infantry Brigade of Ukraine. According to public information, both Stridsvagn 122 tanks were attacked by the Lancet suicide UAV in the direction of Svatovo-Kremensky in the Stelmakhovka area.
The supposedly most modern tanks of the Swedish Army, which were donated to Ukraine, finally appeared on the battlefield. At least six Stridsvagn 122s, weighing 62 tons, appeared in a video spread online on September 20. Observers were looking forward to the appearance of the Stridsvagn 122 on the Ukrainian battlefield, and hoped it would make a difference.
The Stridsvagn 122 is equipped with a 120 mm smoothbore gun, which is capable of firing a variety of rounds including armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS), high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT), and high-explosive squash head (HESH) rounds. It also has a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun mounted next to the main gun and a 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the top of the turret.
In January and February this year, Sweden announced a large arms aid package to Ukraine including 10 Strv 122 tanks, 50 CV90 infantry fighting vehicles, and 8 Archer 155 mm self-propelled guns. This batch of weapons has increased the total value of Sweden’s military support to Ukraine to 1.5 billion USD. The weapons provided by Sweden are enough to equip a tank company, a mechanized infantry battalion and an artillery company in the newly established 21st Mechanized Infantry Brigade of the Ukrainian army. It is possible that the 21st Brigade will be equipped with additional weapons of non-Swedish origin.
Ukraine’s 21st Mechanized Infantry Brigade trained in Sweden this spring and redeployed back to Ukraine just as the long-awaited summer 2023 counteroffensive gets underway. According to Forbes, the strange thing is that the 21st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, equipped with Swedish weapons, considered the best weapons in Ukraine’s arsenal, does not appear to have been deployed to any front. Instead, the brigade is slowly advancing towards the western Kreminna front in northeastern Ukraine. However, during the movement, the 21st Brigade’s formation was fiercely attacked by suicide UAVs and Russian artillery. Presumably the Strv 122 tanks, moving along with the CV90 infantry fighting vehicles, were destroyed by the Lancet UAV in the fields and forests outside Kreminna.
The question is whether the Ukrainian Army can expect anything from Strv 122 tanks, when tanks of both Soviet/Russian and Western origin have been continuously destroyed after 17 months; Since the outbreak of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine? Nowadays, tank battles on the battlefield are very rare; Instead, tanks tend to move with infantry fighting vehicles, to provide fire support and suppress the enemy, so that infantry fighting vehicles can advance.