Sweden has handed over ten Swedish-made Stridsvagn 122 main battle tanks (MBTs) to Ukraine, according to a press release by the Swedish Armed Forces.
The Stridsvagn 122 is a third-generation Swedish MBT, which is a licensed German Leopard 2A5 tank with a number of modifications. It is regarded as one of the best tanks in the world and the most superior tank in the Swedish arsenal.
“We have given them all that we can in terms of great materiel and good knowledge. We wish them all the luck in the world and that they succeed in freeing their country”, says Mats Ludvig, Operations Commander, Army Staff.
The Stridsvagn 122 is operated by a team of four, including a tank commander, gunner, charger, and driver. It is equipped with a 120 mm Rheinmetall L44 smoothbore gun, two 7.62-millimeter machine guns, and two smoke-thrower batteries.
The Swedish Armed Forces introduced the Stridsvagn 122 in 1996, and by 1998, they had 180 tanks in service. As of 2022, the Swedish Army has 120 Stridsvagn 122 tanks. This tank has been the backbone of Swedish mechanized brigades for over three decades. The Ukrainian Army now operates ten of these tanks, with crews trained by Swedish instructors.
“It was absolutely the right decision to donate the tanks, in my opinion. However, it obviously has had an effect on the capability of the army. So we need to procure new tanks as soon as possible, to increase the amount even more. Otherwise, the army will not be able to achieve the expansion objectives of Defence Resolution 2020”, says Army Chief Jonny Lindfors.