Sweden has contributed 10 Stridsvagn-122 armored tanks to Ukraine's battlefield, operated by Ukrainian crews trained in Sweden.
These tanks have long served as the backbone of Swedish mechanized brigades, with over 3,600 in operation.
On the anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2023, Sweden made the strategic decision to donate these tanks. The Swedish Armed Forces, under Army Commander Mats Ludvig's leadership, had meticulously prepared for this, including training Ukrainian personnel in tank operation alongside their largest defense exercise in 30 years. This task required planning and dedication from instructors and personnel, who successfully accomplished the mission.
Instructor Erik, who played a pivotal role in training Ukrainian tank crews, emphasized the significance of this training and the need for excellence in a short timeframe. Now, the tanks have been in Ukraine for some time, and their progress and success are closely monitored through social media.
Sweden originally possessed 120 armored tanks, and this donation of 10 to Ukraine was considered a crucial decision. Nevertheless, it has affected the Swedish army's capabilities, prompting the urgent need for new tank procurement to fulfill the expansion objectives outlined in Defense Resolution 2020, as stated by Army Chief Jonny Lindfors.
The Stridsvagn-122 is Sweden's adaptation of the German Leopard 2 tank, featuring a four-person crew, formidable armament including a 120 mm smoothbore gun, two 7.62 mm machine guns, and two smoke grenade launchers, and the capability to engage targets up to 4 km away with its armor-piercing discarding sabot projectiles and high-explosive shells.