|This page is about the Swedish medium tank Strv 103A. For other versions, see Strv 103 (Family).|
The Stridsvagn 103A is a rank V Swedish medium tank with a battle rating of 7.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.97 "Viking Fury". It is a first unique tank in the Swedish tree which is a MBT, although by its appearance it would seem to instead be a tank destroyer. It is also known as S-Tank or Door Stop.
Survivability and armour
With a superbly sloped upper front hull armour, incoming kinetic rounds are nearly guaranteed to harmlessly bounce off, even at point blank ranges, though chemical rounds will typically do at least some damage, particularly HEAT. Overall, unless the enemy tank is very tall, STRV 103A can simply mock kinetic tanks by rocking down and up between shots. This is done to ensure that the fragile LFP never gets targeted - the tank nose should always point down when reloading and preferably when moving around as well. The sloped armour is not nearly as effective against APFSDS, so late rank VI and VII will cut through it without any issue.
Front has a fuel tank near transmission, the very first penetrating hit taken always destroys it and sets the vehicle on fire, but this only happens once per spawn, making FPE a mandatory upgrade to actually use the tank to its full potential. After the fuel tank is gone, the transmission and additional RHA screens will prevent most enemy shells (except for the HEAT) from doing practically anything to the tank as long as LFP was not hit directly and penetrated. Not even G6 HE or FV4005 HESH can do anything, as long as they hit low enough to only hit the frontal part of the tank. In that regard, the tank is effectively superior to T-54/55, which is a feat unheard of.
Unfortunately, there is a single weak spot on the Strv 103A front - the commander cupola. It can be easily penetrated by nearly anything on the battlefield, and while it is very small and can be concealed with bushes, it still can be hit with explosives to decimate the entirety of the crew. Airburst HE-VT will also likely penetrate it.
Side, rear and top armour of the vehicle are very weak. Most aircraft can also penetrate the roof, especially if they have 20 mm rounds or larger. Therefore, it is necessary to control surroundings of the tank - as long as enemy cannot hit the very back, or at least land a clean shot into the middle (where the crew resides), it will take a long time for them to figure out where to shoot, probably long enough for the crew to repair tracks and/or transmission and turn the vehicle around.
Taking only half the ammunition can prevent shots from the right from destroying the tank, taking only a quarter of ammunition can prevent overhead HEAT shots and LFP hits from hitting the ammo rack on the left, but this is not efficient, considering how survivable the tank is already and how fast it can run out of ammunition.
With a total of three crew members, survivability after taking hits tend to be slim. However, the Strv 103 series are the only tanks that can operate with only one crew member in RB!
- Rolled homogeneous armour
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 40 mm (77°) Upper Glacis
40 mm (74°) Lower Glacis
| 30 mm +10 mm Upper
30 mm Lower
|30 mm||20 mm|
|Cupola||35 mm||35 mm||35 mm||20 mm|
- Tracks are 20 mm thick while the suspension is 15 mm thick.
- The crew compartment is lined with 10 mm RHA.
- Storage boxes are 4 mm thick.
When "hull aim" mode is activated the tank automatically turns and adjusts suspension to actually aim the gun where the mouse pointer is. This persists even when the player attempts to turn the tank left or right manually while driving, so driving should preferably be done entirely with the mouse instead while the mode is activated.
There is a significant delay after letting the movement buttons go (about 0.7 seconds) before the gunner takes control of the tank instead of the driver and starts actually aiming. The lower the nose of the tank was before stopping, the faster the tank will start aiming, but this might not allow the tank to fire on the move, so a choice must be made depending on the situation.
Mobility upgrades are extremely important for this tank, as additional stability allows it to snipe when tilted horizontally (which is otherwise impossible) and to turn around smoothly without awkward delays.
The tank climbs better when the nose is pulled up, but is also extremely vulnerable when it does so.
A major drawback of the tank is that without transmission/engine the tank can no longer manoeuvre the hull to aim left or right, so it is important to try and turn the tank onto enemy before they fire. The tank still can rock up and down until the enemy destroyed both tracks, so it is possible to "hull down" when suddenly shot or "pike up" and retaliate against high ground.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
Modifications and economy
The gun is exceptionally accurate even without any upgrades, but the drawback is that it is bound to the hull - any explosions nearby, any erratic movement of "hull aim" (especially when tilted horizontally) and any unaware teammate pushing the platform from behind will cause the hull to rock until it settles down, requiring extra patience to aim. It is best to just embrace this situation as a fact instead of sacrificing defences to reduce the wobble of the hull and just time the shots with it.
The reload takes only 4 seconds, making Strv 103A the fastest reloading "medium tank". This is further supported by extremely powerful ammunition.
The tank has access to laser rangefinder, which allows to instantly measure the range at any distance and take aim nearly automatically.
|105 mm L74||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
The ammunition echoes previous Strv 101, but with addition of Slpprj m/62 which can cut through almost any tank within BR range. Coupled with extremely low profile of the tank, the gun can penetrate any LFP of any tank on the field and will often easily cut through the turrets of most heavy tanks.
Slpprh M/61 has better penetration against flat surfaces (like the turrets of some American heavy tanks), but has much worse angled penetration than M/62. Angled penetration is much more important at the rank VI, even more so when the enemy has high ground, so prioritize upgraded ammunition over the standard one.
Since the tank is super short, it makes sense to use HESH to shoot above destroyed enemies once it becomes impossible to shoot the remaining opponents directly with APDS. Remember to immediately pull the hull down to the ground, as HESH trajectory forces the tank to expose its LFP completely.
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (kg)
|Smoke shell characteristics|
| Screen radius
| Screen deploy
| Screen hold
| Explosive mass|
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|50||46 (+4)||41 (+9)||36 (+14)||31 (+19)||26 (+24)|
|21 (+29)||16 (+34)||11 (+39)||6 (+44)||1 (+49)||No|
- Shells are modeled individually and disappear after having been shot or loaded.
The Strv 103A has 3 x 7.62 mm ksp 58 machine guns, 2 on the left side in their own mount and one on top of the commander's cupola.
|7.62 mm ksp 58|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The Strv 103A is an amazing tank to take in defensive positions and snipe with. Although it's mainly used for the sniping role, it can also do close quarters combat quite well if one needs to push out to a capture point. Due to the armour design of the Strv 103, surviving conventional shells that can be found on the early Cold War-era Soviet tanks is easy. The only challenges with the tank is to learn key positions to lock down with the rapid firing 105 mm L7-derived cannon and learning the shooting mechanics of hull-aim. It is important to stay on flat ground when playing this tank, as slopes can cause issues with the hull-aim.
While the Strv 103 can easily hold its own against conventional shells, against chemical and more modern kinetic rounds it starts to lose its points. HEATFS shells can easily penetrate the frontal armour, going through both the armour and engine, knocking out the crew behind it (this gets remedied with the later 103C, which has slat armour at the front to prematurely detonate the shell). In full uptiers, it's also highly likely to get shot at by APFSDS shells, which ignore the armour completely. That's why when facing these vehicles, one should take full utility of the smoke launchers and smoke rounds to create a quick escape out and avoid getting shot at.
If the tank does get shot at, the survivability is quite high due to the crew all being located behind the transmission and the engine. And since the tank can be operated by only one crew member, the tank is mostly only destroyed by being set afire by the fuel tank and engine in the front of the tank, or by HEAT shells from tanks like the DF105.
Pros and cons
- Low profile
- Very short reload time
- Extremely survivable
- Effectively sloped front armour
- Can be controlled by one crew member
- Gunner and Commander perform the same roles, so there is no crew switch if either is knocked out
- Slow aiming, significant delay between "travel" mode and "aiming" mode
- Vulnerable to flanking
- Only three crew members
- Gun is prone to damage
- Catches fire often when shot from the side and sometimes from the front, FPE is mandatory for survival
- Any detonation next to the hull can cause the tank (and, subsequently, the gun) to violently rock
After 6 months of trial with the Strv 103-0 and the goal settings for requirements that the tank needed to pass were done in 1963 it was not till Autumn 1964 that the first order for the Strv 103 came in to AB Bofors. 1967 the Strv 103A started to deliver to the army, a total of 70 Strv 103As were ordered to the army as the first series production. Strv 103A had a 300hk powered gasturbine that during delivery proved to be not quite effective and would be required a change in the upcoming version of the Strv 103. Directly when the S tank got delivered instructor courses began and it was not till 1968 that the first conscripts go the education on the Strv 103 "S" systems.
In the immediate postwar years, Sweden began looking for a replacement to the Centurion tanks, then in service with its army. The most straightforward solution was to once again look into the export market for potential candidates, although engineers were already working on a domestic design - the Kranvagn. While this process was ongoing, an engineer by the name of Sven Berge came up with a radical new tank design in 1956.
This new vehicle featured a turretless design with a cannon fixed to the hull, which would be trained onto its targets with the precise use of an adjustable suspension system. The design was based on results from a study on tank crew casualties during WWII and the Korean War, which showed a correlation between tank height and hit probability. As such, the 'S-Tank' was kept very small in dimensions and low in profile, while also utilizing some innovative new engineering solutions, such as a mixed power plant consisting of a diesel engine and a gas turbine.
In 1959, the Swedish government approved the construction and testing of two prototypes. In 1960, a pre-production batch of 10 vehicles of the '0-serie' was ordered for field trials, which went on into the mid '60s. Generating more than favorable test results, the vehicle was formally ordered into production and procured as the 'Stridsvagn 103'.
Despite its original purpose being to replace the Centurion tanks in the Swedish Army, the Strv 103 ended up serving alongside it for a number of decades, until it was ultimately decommissioned in the late 1990s. By that time, 290 Strv 103s were built, spanning over five variants.
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|Strv 103||Strv 103-0 · Strv 103A · Strv 103С|
|Tank Destroyers||SAV 20.12.48 · Bkan 1C|
|See Also||BAE Systems AB|
|*Saab Bofors Dynamics|
|Sweden medium tanks|
|Strv m/42||Lago I · Strv m/42 EH · Ikv 73 · Strv m/42 DT|
|Centurion derivatives||Strv 81 · Strv 81 (RB 52) · Strv 101 · Strv 104 · Strv 105|
|Strv 103||Strv 103-0 · Strv 103A · Strv 103С|
|Strv 121/122||Strv 121 · Strv 122A · Strv 122B PLSS|
|Other||T 80 U|
|WWII||▄T-28 · ▄T-34 · ▄Pz.IV · ▄T-34-85|
|Post War||▄Comet I · ▄Charioteer Mk VII · ▄T-54 · T-55M · T-72M1 · ▄Leopard 2A4 · ▄Leopard 2A6|