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Sweden upgrades Leopard 2s

The FMV has signed a contract with KMW for a major upgrade of the Swedish Army's Strv 122 MBT. (Swedish Armed Forces/Bezav Mahmod )

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) announced on its website on 10 October that it had signed a contract on behalf of the Swedish Armed Forces with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) for a major upgrade of the Stridsvagn 122 (Strv 122), Sweden's designation of its upgraded Leopard 2A5 main battle tank (MBT). Under the SEK3.5 billion (USD321 million) contract, 44 Strv 122s will receive their most extensive upgrade since they entered service in the early 2000s, according to the FMV.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2026. Jonas Lotsne, director of the FMV's Land Systems, said that the war in Ukraine led to the conclusion that tanks will form “the backbone of the army's brigades for a long time to come”, with the upgrade extending the lifetime of the Strv 122 to at least the late 2030s. The upgraded tank will be designated Stridsvagn 123A.

The upgrade includes the replacement of all the tanks' electronic components, a new L/55 120 mm gun able to fire programmable ammunition, new gunner and commander sights, night driving cameras, and new running gear, including tracks.

The Strv 122's primary armament is an L/44 120 mm smoothbore gun. According to Janes World Armies, the Strv 122 differs from its German counterparts in several areas – it is fitted with Nexter Systems' Galix vehicle protection system, a passive armour system developed by Åkers providing a high degree of protection from kinetic and chemical attack, additional armour protection over the frontal arc, and it was the first MBT in Europe to receive an advanced command-and-control system offering crews superior situational awareness, among other advantages.

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