Swedish technology on the German railway. In the foreground - BREM Bgbv 90, behind it - BMP Strf 9040C
At the beginning of 2023, the leadership of Sweden announced its intention to supply armored fighting vehicles to the Kyiv regime. The new packages of military-technical assistance were planned to include several major tanks and dozens of infantry fighting vehicles. Now it has become known that the first batch of Strf 90 infantry fighting vehicles has already been sent from Sweden and should soon be at the disposal of Ukrainian formations.
Plans and their implementation
On January 19, the government of once-neutral Sweden announced the formation of a new package of military-technical assistance for Ukraine. It was planned to transfer weapons and equipment worth $419 million to the Kyiv regime. The package included various infantry weapons, engineering equipment and armored combat vehicles.
In particular, they announced their intention to send approx. 50 infantry fighting vehicles Strf 90. The equipment was supposed to be taken from parts of their own ground forces. At the same time, the exact terms and conditions of the future delivery were not named. They also did not disclose the issue of training Ukrainian military personnel to work on foreign equipment.
It should be noted that plans to send equipment were not limited to fifty infantry fighting vehicles. An unnamed number of Archer self-propelled howitzers were included in the same package. In addition, at that time the possibility of transferring a dozen main tanks Strv 122 (Swedish version of the German Leopard 2) was discussed.
Over the next few months, new information about the supply of BMP Strf 90 did not appear. Only recently it turned out that the previously announced plans are still in force and being implemented. In mid-May, the British edition of The Times, citing its sources, reported that Sweden had recently been training Ukrainian crews for its equipment.
Strf 9040C modification machine with additional protection
According to The Times, a Ukrainian brigade of 3 to 5 people was trained. At the same time, it is not known how many militants were trained directly at the Swedish training grounds. Ukrainians were taught to operate and use Strv 122 tanks, Strf 90 infantry fighting vehicles and Archer self-propelled guns. The preparation process in Sweden ended in the first half of May, and the militants went home.
Just a few days later, at the beginning of the twenties, a video shot at one of the railway stations in Germany appeared in the public domain. An unknown operator witnessed the passage of an echelon with more than 20 Swedish-made infantry fighting vehicles. and one Bgbv 90 recovery vehicle on the same chassis. Judging by the appearance and equipment, all this equipment is intended for Ukraine.
Thus, by now Sweden has begun to fulfill the January promises. Ukrainian crews have been trained and the shipment of equipment has begun. So far, we are talking about at least one batch of infantry fighting vehicles and auxiliary equipment. In the near future, the remaining armored vehicles in the amount of less than 30 units should be sent from Sweden to Ukraine.
Opportunities for Help
The promising BMP Stridsfordon 90 (Strf 90 or CV 90) has been developed by Hägglunds and Bofors since the mid-eighties by order of the Swedish ground forces. The design took several years, and at the turn of the decade, prototypes passed the necessary tests. In the early nineties, a new BMP was recommended for adoption.
Initially, the Swedish army planned to purchase new infantry fighting vehicles in two versions that differ in weapons. However, a real order from the early nineties provided for the release of only the Strf 9040 version. In addition, several other types of military and auxiliary equipment were developed and built on the BMP chassis. In total, by the beginning of the 550s, Sweden purchased approx. 350 armored vehicles of the family, incl. OK. XNUMX infantry fighting vehicles.
BMP early versions on exercises
Serial Strf 9040 was produced in several modifications. The latter, "9040C", is distinguished by the presence of additional armor, a modified set of on-board systems and a reduced troop compartment. Due to the limited needs of the army, only 42 infantry fighting vehicles of this modification were ordered.
In a recent video from Germany, Strf 9040 armored vehicles are covered with camouflage nets, but their modification can be identified. Under the mesh on the nose of the hull, a characteristic wedge-shaped element of additional protection is clearly visible. Mounted armor of this kind was received only by machines of the Strf 9040C version.
It turns out that the Swedish army decided to give Ukraine the newest infantry fighting vehicles with improved protection characteristics. It can be assumed that the delivery will be mixed, and it will include equipment of various modifications. The fact is that the declared amount of assistance exceeds the number of Strf 9040C machines. At the same time, the Swedish army is unlikely to give up all the latest version of the BMP.
The first batch of Swedish Strf 9040s has already been sent to Ukraine, and further deliveries are expected soon. Over the next few weeks or months, this technique may appear on the battlefield. Obviously, the Russian army is ready for this and knows how to counter the Swedish-made armored vehicles. In general, they are not a particular threat, but their strengths and weaknesses must be considered.
In the basic configuration, the Strf 9040 has armor with all-round protection against 14,5 mm bullets. The frontal projection is better protected, but the exact level is unknown. The internal compartments have anti-fragmentation lining. Modifications "B" and "C" are protected from 30-mm projectiles, incl. sub-caliber, from the front corners. Also, during the modernization, measures were taken to improve mine protection.
BMPs of the Swedish army are equipped with a Scania DSI14 diesel engine with an HP 550 power. The base Strf 9040 with a combat weight of 23 tons on the highway develops a speed of 70 km / h and is able to overcome various obstacles. In the course of subsequent upgrades, the mass increased by several tons, which led to a deterioration in mobility. This fully applies to the "9040C" version.
The Swedish Strf 9040s are equipped with a two-man turret with a 40 mm Bofors L70 automatic cannon and a 7,62 mm Ksp m/39 coaxial machine gun. The rate of fire of the gun is up to 300 rds / min.; loading - manual with clips. Depending on the projectile used, the L70 can hit manpower, light armored vehicles, or unfortified buildings.
For shooting at ground and air targets, the UTAAS sight with day, night and laser rangefinding channels is used. The sight is paired with a ballistic computer and other fire controls.
Early modifications of the BMP carried a crew of three and took eight paratroopers on board. In the Strf 9040C modification, the internal volumes were reduced, and only six people fit in the troop compartment.
Judging by the declared characteristics, Strf 9040 early modifications are vulnerable to 30-mm automatic guns of Russian light armored vehicles, while the latest modifications of infantry fighting vehicles can withstand shells of such weapons. At the same time, any version of the Swedish BMP is guaranteed to be hit by tank shells and ATGM missiles. In addition, loitering ammunition and accurate field artillery fire can be effective against them.
The 40-mm Bofors automatic cannon is a serious argument and can threaten our armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles of the main modifications. At the same time, its danger remains only in a certain range of distances. Accordingly, the use of systems with a greater range of fire will negate the advantages of the Strf 9040 in armament.
It should be borne in mind that the Bofors L / 70 uses a specific ammunition that has not yet been delivered to Ukraine. This creates additional logistical problems and risks for the Kyiv regime. Due to difficulties at the stage of transportation, infantry fighting vehicles may face a shortage of ammunition or even be left without them. In addition, the Russian army, through new attacks on transportation and warehouses, should contribute to the emergence of such problems.
In general, the Strf 9040 infantry fighting vehicle of any modification is a fairly serious opponent, but it should not be overestimated. It has weaknesses that need to be exploited. In addition, our troops have a number of advantages that have already helped destroy the masses of Ukrainian armored vehicles and vehicles that have arrived from abroad in recent months.
Thus, Sweden previously promised the Kyiv regime fifty infantry fighting vehicles of its own production and is now starting deliveries. It is known that at least half of the promised equipment has been sent, and in the near future it may appear in the combat zone. At the same time, the Swedish army had to reduce its own fleet of equipment, and at the expense of its most advanced part.
For all its advantages, the Strf 9040 infantry fighting vehicles are not a "wonder weapon" that can change the course of hostilities. Such equipment will cause trouble for our troops, but in the end it will add to the list of losses of Ukrainian formations, which is already considerable. As a result, we are talking not only about the demilitarization of Ukraine, but also about the partial destruction of the military potential of Sweden. In the current military-political situation, this will also be useful.