Strv 101

Manufacturer: Vickers Defence Systems Ltd.  
Product type: Armoured Vehicles  
Name: Main battle tank  

Swedish Centurion

Late in 1981, the Swedish FMV awarded a contract worth some SKr150 million to Bofors for the upgrading of the Swedish Centurion Strv 101 and 102 MBTs.

The programme was carried out in two stages covering firepower and mobility. The first retrofitted vehicle was delivered to the Swedish Army early in 1983. This contract covered the following:

(1) A new fire-control system from Bofors Aerotronics based on its export version computer. New gun-control equipment, including solid-state amplifiers, a gyro unit and new gunner's and commander's control handle.

(2) A new gunner's day sight incorporating a laser range-finder and spot injection unit was provided by Ericsson.

(3) A modified cupola retaining the existing commander's sight but including an armoured hood to provide protection when observing head-out.

Bofors provided the Lyran twin launcher for the 71 mm illuminating system with a range of 1,300 m.

Late in 1982, the Swedish Army placed an order worth some SKM80 million with Allison (CD-850-6A automatic transmission) and General Dynamics Land Systems (previously Teledyne Continental) AVDS-1790-2DC diesel engine for subsystems to be used in the Strv 101 and Strv 102 Centurion MBTs. Chassis conversion work was carried out by Hag'glunds Vehicle. Integration of the chassis and turret took place at a Swedish government arsenal in southern Sweden. It is believed that about 80 of the Swedish Army's Centurion MBTs were fitted with a new diesel power pack.

Early in 1989, the Swedish Army took delivery of its first Swedish-made mineclearing roller systems which can be fitted to both the Centurion and S-tanks. This is called the Mine Roller I with the Coupling 1 linking the system to the Centurion and Coupling 2 linking the system to the Strv 103B/C or S-tanks. The overall weight of the mineclearing roller is 6,000 kg while the coupling weighs 1,000 kg. The system can be fixed to the vehicle in 30 to 40 minutes and it is usually used at a speed of 8 to 15 km/h. Full details of this are given in Jane's Military Vehicles and Logistics 1999-2000, page 264.

Early in 1985, the Swedish armed forces successfully completed trials of a Centurion MBT with the British Hydrostrut suspension system which has been developed jointly by Air-Log and the now Vickers Defence Systems Leeds and has also been tested on a British Army Chieftain MBT. The Hydrostrut suspension system can be retrofitted to any existing Centurion in one day and no modification to the hull is necessary.

With the introduction of the Leopard 2 and the later Leopard 2A5 MBTs all of the S-tanks and most of the Centurion tanks will be phased out of service with the Swedish Army. It is expected that a number of the Centurion tanks will be deployed on Gotland island in the Baltic Sea.

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Strv 101