The Stridsvagn 104 is a deep upgrade of a batch of 80 Stridsvagn 102s, with an all-new, more powerful diesel engine, and an upgraded laser rangefinder.

After World War II, the British Centurion made a big splash. It has proven itself in Korea and is the forerunner of a new generation of main battle tanks. The Swedes were interested in the Centurion Mk 3 to replace their aging light and medium tanks. However, because the British were unable to supply the necessary number of Centurion Mk 3s to Sweden. A secret local tank program was launched in 1951 under the name “EMIL”. This program sought to design, develop and ultimately produce an indigenous heavy tank to meet the need.

Some eighty Centurion Mk 3 units were ordered in 1953, and a further 110 Centurion Mk 10s followed into the next decade. In the Swedish Army, Centurion operated under the designation Stridsvagn. During the 1980s, the Swedish Centurions were modernized to keep these war machines viable for the foreseeable future.

The Stridsvagn 104 is a deep upgrade of a batch of 80 Stridsvagn 102s, with an all-new, more powerful diesel engine, and an upgraded laser rangefinder. But the biggest improvement comes from the armor, with its explosive Reactive Armor blocks.

Stridsvagn 104
Stridsvagn 104

The configuration of the Stridsvagn 104 remains the same as the British Centurion, with a standard crew of 4: commander, gunner and loader and front-left driver in the hull. Combat weight was 54 tons. The Stridsvagn104 was given a brand new powerplant, comprising a Continental diesel engine coupled with an Allison automatic gearbox.

The ERA bocks covered the glacis front, part of the ring, turret front and mantlet, turret roof, and sides over the metal side skirts. These were introduced in the 1980s with the REMO programme and were developed by the Swedish FFV Ordnance. For active concealment, there were two banks of six-barrel smoke dischargers and two erectile illumination round dischargers on the rear of the turret roof.

The Swedish Centurion was eventually retired for good in 1992. It was later replaced by the powerful Leopard 2.

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