The Swedish Tank 122 is often referred to as the best tank in the world and ten of them were recently sent to Ukraine. However, at least two of the vehicles were reportedly destroyed almost immediately by Russia – but the Swedish Armed Forces will not comment on the matter.
On September 21, the Swedish Armed Forces confirmed that 10 of Sweden’s 122 tanks had been donated to Ukraine – a decision that was “absolutely right” according to army chief Jonny Lindfors.
– That it will affect the army’s capability is obvious. Therefore, those tanks must be reacquired as soon as possible, but also more must be acquired. Otherwise, the army will not be able to meet the growth targets set out in the 2020 defense decision or the requirements imposed by NATO membership, he adds.
However, shortly after the tanks were delivered to Ukraine, at least two of them were reportedly destroyed, either by mines or drones – or a combination of the two.
“The most likely thing that happened to the two tanks attacked by the Russians is that they were mined – southern Ukraine is heavily mined by the Russian defense lines. If a mine explodes underneath a tank, it often knocks out one or both of the vehicle’s tracks,” writes Dagens PS, one of the few Swedish media outlets to have covered the incident at all.
Filmed drone attacks
On social media, several videos of what appear to be drone attacks on the Swedish tanks – which at the time already appear to have been abandoned – are also circulating.
Abandoned 🇺🇦Leopard 2 (Strv 122) tank being hit with Lancet loitering munitions near Stelmakhivka on the Svatove direction. pic.twitter.com/ZTsCo1didA
— Military Advisor (@miladvisor) September 22, 2023
FPV drones hit two Stridsvagn 122 tanks (Swedish version of Leopard 2A5). pic.twitter.com/ToUydnqaqc
— Sprinter (@Sprinter99800) September 28, 2023
When the news outlet Fria Tider contacted the Swedish Armed Forces for a comment, they stated that they “do not comment on the actions of other countries” and that any questions about the tanks should be directed to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense instead.
However, a Swedish volunteer soldier fighting for Ukraine claims that the tanks are only “slightly damaged” and “definitely not knocked out”.