A small glossary of terms, people and wonderful military abbreviations.

Authorities, bureaus, institutions and other corporate bodies

  • Ast – Arméstaben. The army headquarters and general staff.
  • Ast/Utr – Arméstabens utrustningsavdelning. The equipment division of the army headquarters.
  • Bofors – Aktiebolaget Bofors. Probably the best known name in Swedish weapons manufacturing for a number of reasons. During its long history the company has worked on a surprising number of different weapon systems; everything from man-portable anti-tank missiles to large-caliber naval artillery.
  • CA – Chefen för Armén. The Commander of the Army; can refer both to his office and to himself as a person depending on context.
  • FA – Fordonsavdelningen. The Vehicle Division at KATF and the successor to FB.
  • FB – Fordonsbyrån. The Vehicle Bureau at KAFT; took over responsibility for all kinds of military vehicles from Tredje Materielbyrån (MB3) in 1944. Renamed to Fordonsavdelningen (FA) when KAFT became KATF.
  • FMV – Försvarets Materielverk. The Defense Materiel Administration. Successor to KATF, formed in 1968.
  • FOA – Försvarets Forskningsanstalt. The Defense Research Agency.
  • Fst – Försvarsstaben. The Swedish Headquarters, i.e. the commander-in-chief and his staff.
  • KATD – Kungliga Arméförvaltningens Tygdepartement. Basically the same as KAFT but with a different name and a slightly different organization. Created in 1937.
  • KAFT – Kungliga Arméförvaltningens Tygavdelning. The Ordnance Division of the Royal Army Administration. Existed in various forms until 1954, when it was reorganized as KATF.
  • KATF – Kungliga Armétygförvaltningen. The Royal Army Ordnance Administration. Took over KAFT’s duties and existed 1954-1968.
  • KHS – Kungliga Krigshögskolan. The Royal Military Academy.
  • Kungl. Maj:t – Kunglig Majestät. Directly translated, the Royal Majesty. The term does not refer to the king or queen in person, but rather to the government (more specifically, the cabinet) as a decision-making body. This was because according the Instrument of Government of 1809 the king was formally the head of government with the cabinet as advisors. See Wikipedia for more details.
  • Landsverk – AB Landsverk, a manufacturing company specializing in heavy utility vehicles, tanks and armored cars.
  • MB1, MB2, MB3 – Första, andra och tredje materielbyrån. Various divisions at KATD.
  • PcK – Provskjutningscentralen Karlsborg. The army’s proving grounds and test firing range at Karlsborg.
  • SFA – Svenska Flygmotor AB. Swedish Aeroplane Engine Corporation, Ltd. Part of the Volvo group.
  • VaB – Vapenbyrån. The Weapons Bureau at KAFT and KATF. There were actually two of these, the 1st and the 2nd (VaB 1 and VaB 2) with different responsibilities.

Various abbreviations and other militarisms

  • drivspegel – sabot.
  • hpgr – halvpansargranat. Semi-armor-piercing round with an explosive filling; rare in tanks but somewhat common in naval artillery.
  • lng – laddning. Charge, as in powder charge.
  • pagr – pansargranat. A kinetic penetrator with an explosive filling (APHE).
  • pil – literally “arrow”; refers to a fin-stabilized round (as opposed to a spin-stabilized one).
  • pprj – pansarprojektil. Kinetic, inert armor-piercing round.
  • prj – projektil. Literally “projectile”; in principle this refers to an inert kinetic penetrator (i.e. without an explosive charge).
  • psgr – pansarspränggranat. HEAT round.
  • RSV – riktad sprängverkan. This is usually (mis-)translated as “HEAT”, but it really means “directional explosive effect” and is not specific to armor-piercing rounds.
  • sgr – spränggranat. High explosive round.
  • slng – sprängladdning. Explosive charge.
  • sl – spårljus. Tracer.
  • uk – underkalibrig. Sub-caliber.
  • VPM – vördsam promemoria. Respectful memorandum, i.e. a memo from someone who isn’t at the top of the hierarchy.

Many of these abbreviations can be (and frequently are) tacked together in various combinations; an extreme example is slbrhpgr which stands for spårljusbrandhalvpansargranat (semi-armor-piercing high-explosive incendiary tracer round; in English this is abbreviated SAPHEI-T).