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Sweden’s main battle tanks to get extensive upgrade

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has signed a contract with German arms company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann to begin an extensive upgrade of the Swedish Army’s Stridsvagn 122 main battle tank (MBT).

The contract includes the renovation and modification of 44 Stridsvagn 122 MBTs which are a licensed German Leopard 2A5 tank with a number of modifications.

“Tanks will be the backbone of the army’s brigades for a long time to come, that is a conclusion we can draw from the ongoing war in Ukraine. The order we are now placing with KMW means a considerable modernization of our tank fleet and extends the life of the tanks at least into the 2030s”, says Jonas Lotsne, head FMV operational area army materiel.

The tank upgrade is a comprehensive one that involves the replacement of almost all electronic components. This will bring the system in line with the latest Leopard 2 models. The upgrade also includes the installation of a new L55 120-millimetre main gun with increased programming ammunition capability.

Additionally, new night sights will be provided for the gunner and tank commander and a night driving camera for the driver. The track system will also be replaced, including the tracks themselves. Starting in 2026, the Armed Forces will receive the new tanks, which will be named Stridsvagn 123A.

The Swedish Armed Forces introduced the Stridsvagn 122 MBT in 1996, and by 1998, they had 180 tanks in service. As of 2022, the Swedish Army had 120 in service.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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