Easy Model EM35094 Swedish Stridsvagn 103B Main Battle Tank - Green Camouflage (1:72 Scale)
"We're going to cut off their head, then we're going to kill 'em."
- General Norman Schwarzkopf discussing plans for Operation: Desert Storm, January 1991
The Stridsvagn 103 (Strv 103), or S-Tank, was a Swedish main battle tank. It was known for its unconventional turretless design which required the entire tank to move in order to aim its main gun. The result was a very low-profile design with an emphasis on defence and heightened crew protection level. S-tanks formed a major portion of Swedish armored forces during the 1970s, 80s and part of the 90s, but have since been removed from service in favour of the Leopard 2.
In the mid-1950s the Swedish army put out a contract tender for a new tank design to replace their Centurions. Although the Centurion was arguably the best tank in the world at the time, its performance lead over contemporary Soviet designs like the T-55 was only marginal, and any future designs would best it. A consortium of Landsverk, Volvo and Bofors responded with a new heavy tank design, known under the codename KRV, fitted with a 155 mm smoothbore gun, but this would be an expensive option.
Sven Berge of the Swedish Arms Administration proposed an alternative in 1956, given the codename S. Noting that the chance of being hit in combat was strongly related to height, he proposed that any new design should be as low as possible. The only practical way to do this was to eliminate the turret, which would also make the tank much lighter and simpler. Note however that its most likely opponent, the T-72, is only 2.2 meters in height with its turret vs. the 2.14 meters of the Strv 103.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale Swedish Stridsvagn 103B main battle tank.
Length: 4 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: March 2010
Historical Account: "Hull Down" - Operationally tanks deploy themselves into 'hull down' firing positions, either purpose dug or using the crest of a hill, in order to reduce the exposure of the vehicle to enemy fires. In this firing position the distance between the bottom of the gun barrel to the top of the turret or vehicle determines the level of exposure. Because the Strv 103 orientates the entire tank to depress and elevate the barrel in a hull down position it has a very low apparent height and subsequent visual profile to the enemy. It can also lower the hull 13 centimeters.