According to information published by the Daily Newspaper “Svenska Dagbladet” on January 25, 2023, Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson announced that Sweden does not exclude sending Stridsvagn 122 Main Battle Tank to Ukraine. The Stridsvagn 122 is a Swedish variant of the German-made Leopard 2A5 tank.
Citing information from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, tanks are now a top priority for the Ukrainian armed forces due to the new success of the Russian army near Bakhmut. According to the latest information, the Russian forces with the help of the Wagner paramilitary organization control now the city of Soledar, a settlement in the Bakhmut Raion of Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine.
Citing information from the British Ministry of Defense, the city of Bakhmut in the Donbas region has gained symbolic importance for both sides and become the center of fierce frontline fighting. To counter the Russian forces in this region, Ukrainian forces need more tanks and armored vehicles.
On January 25, 2022, Germany announced its decision to supply 14 Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), and more specifically the 2A6 version which is considered as one of the most powerful MBTs in the world.
Sweden would be ready to supply leopard tanks to Ukraine to follow the decision of Germany as well as other European countries.
The Stridsvagn 122 is a Swedish version of the Leopard 2 tank family, which is a further development of the German-made Leopard 2A5 but fitted with a new fire control system and a new armor package offering more protection against ballistic threats.
The design of Stridsvagn 122 is similar to the Leopard 2A6 model in the Leopard 2 family. 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 is armed 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.
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. Even when compared to the latest German Army Leopard 2A5, the Swedish Strv 122 will be the best armored Leopard 2 in service with any army in the world. 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.
The Stridsvagn 122 is motorized with an MTU MB 873 Ka-501 4-stroke, 12-cylinder diesel engine, exhaust turbocharged, liquid-cooled, developing 1,500 hp at 2,600 rpm coupled to a Renk HSWL 354 transmission with 4 forward and 2 reverse gears. The tank can run at a maximum road speed of 72 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 470 km.
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