Stridsvagn 103 trials in the US, 1975-1976

Two strv 103’s were sent to the US for trials in 1975-1976. Seven US crews were trained and the tanks were subjected to a variety of tests, in which they were compared to a variety of odd vehicles, ranging from the mundane M60A1 AOS (add-on stabilizer) to a T-62, an RVT-2 (a West German experimental vehicle with 1800(!) horsepower – see the comments section for more information) and an XM808 TB (8-wheeled Lockheed experimental vehicle). The report from these trials is over a thousand pages long, but I have only managed to find a small part. I’m working with the national archives to get the entire thing declassified, but it’s been met with some bureaucratic issues due to the US classification levels.

Nevertheless, I’ve obtained a few summary pages that in themselves contain a number of interesting tidbits. For example, did you know that when comparing gun laying times against a stationary target from the short halt, the strv 103B was faster to fire (although somewhat less accurate) than the M60A1 AOS? In the stationary vs stationary case on the other hand, the strv 103 layed slower but hit better. When averaging about 400 fired rounds of various types in a variety of situations against a variety of targets at different ranges between 500 and 2000 meters, the strv 103 hit an average of 77% of shots and took an average of 13.1 seconds to open fire, while the M60A1 AOS hit an average of 72% and took an average of 12.7 seconds to open fire (it should be noted here that the M60 was using its coincidence rangefinder, while the strv 103 had no rangefinder at all). In a mixed driving trial, the strv 103 was slightly faster than the M60 but accelerates slower.

You can read the fragments in PDF form here – and for once, they’re mostly in English.

4 Comments

  1. monokuro September 26, 2016

    About RVT-2:
    A document on DTIC (http://www.dtic.mil/docs/citations/ADA021702) which refered to RVT-2(or RVT02) said that RVT-2 is a high-mobility test rig, based on M41 chassis.
    It’s light-weight(22t) and equipped with an 1800 hp 12-cylinder diesel engine.
    The suspension and running gears of RVT-2 can also be modified, road wheels of each sides can be reduced to lower the L/C ratio, thus improve its turning ability and agility.

    http://www.hartziel.de/_typen/vt_schlepper.htm
    These two vehicles might be two of the RVT series, althought described as “Artillery Tractors”.

  2. rhx September 26, 2016

    Interesting! I typoed RVT-2 as RTV-2 in the blog post – fixed now. The reference to the M48 chassis is in some Swedish text that isn’t in the PDF; seems like the Swedish observers might’ve misunderstood or typoed something as well. I’ve removed it.

    Thank you for providing context and corrections!

  3. Tiles Murphy December 12, 2016

    I do hope that you manage to get your hands on the full document. I really want to see how the T-62 holds to the Strv 103 and the M60A1 AOS!

  4. car flood damage May 17, 2017

    Hi Jon! I agree totally. This kind of “good” tension is not to be avoided even though at times it means living with uncertainty. I like the term “productive tension”. Thank you for your comment.

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