Sweden has announced that it will be ready to supply the Leopard tank to Ukraine, the Stridsvagn 122.

Information about Western main battle tanks will be delivered to Ukraine in a rush in January. Allies show their commitment to Kiev in its fight against Russian aggression. On January 25, 2023, Germany announced a decision to provide 14 Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, paving the way for member states to follow. Sweden has announced that it will be ready to supply the Leopard tank to Ukraine, the Stridsvagn 122. If this happens, this will be the most powerful upgraded version of the Leopard line on the Ukrainian battlefield.

Sweden operates a fleet of 121 Stridsvagn 122s, which are essentially an upgraded version of the Leopard 2A5. The Stridsvagn 122 features newer technologies such as command, control and fire control systems, as well as reinforced armour and long-term combat capacity. Externally, the vehicle can be distinguished from the Leopard 2A5 by the French GALIX smoke dispensers, different storage bins, and the thicker crew hatches.

The Stridsvagn 122 served with the Swedish ground forces since 1997. The Leopard 2A5 itself is a notable upgrade of the Leopard 2 series, the first variant with modified front turret, has a well slope, offering more protection against ballistic threats. It has a crew of four with the driver seated at the front right side of the hull and three crew members in the turret including the commander, gunner, and loader.

The Stridsvagn 122 was designed to fight in Swedish conditions including heavily forested areas as well as urban terrain. The designation derives from the 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.

Strv 122 also had to overcome the perceived flaws of the original German tank, and features a heavily reinforced armour to protect against man-portable anti-tank weapons. The Stridsvagn 122 is fitted with a new passive armor system developed in Sweden by Akers, which will provide a very high degree of protection from both kinetic energy and chemical energy attack. It has additional armor protection over the frontal arc of the vehicle as well as on the upper surfaces to protect against top attack munitions.

Quick ability to discover, identify and lock on a target with the assistance of a laser rangefinder, thermographic camera, and a ballistic computer for maximum accuracy. The combat system is capable of locking multiple targets at once, enabling the tank to fight numerous enemy vehicles without having to manually re-aim the gun after every shot.

Maneuverability is provided by a MTU MB 873 Ka-501 4-stroke, 12-cylinder diesel engine, developing 1,500 hp coupled to a Renk HSWL 354 transmission with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. Stridsvagn 122 can reach a maximum road speed of 72 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 470 km.

Basically, Stridsvagn 122 is a modification to suit combat conditions in snowy areas and forests. That is, the engine must ensure reliability as well as high-precision weapons in such weather and environmental conditions, completely suitable for the current situation in Ukraine. The scenario of Sweden’s Stridsvagn 122 tank against Russia’s T-90M Proryv in the Ukraine battlefield is attracting deep attention from the media as well as military analysts around the world.

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